Holiday Sanity Saver: Set a "No-Driving Day"

Holiday Sanity Saver: Set a "No-Driving Day"

Tess Wilson
Nov 17, 2014
(Image credit: Marcia Prentice)

Many of us spend hundreds of dollars, precious vacation days (if we're so lucky), and many, many hours travelling to see our families for the holidays. Yet upon arrival, you have to spend all that time driving between relatives! Let's treat ourselves to at least one "no-driving day" this holiday season.

I was introduced to the concept of no-driving days thanks to an unrelated post on A Practical Wedding (what?! I love weddings). Discussing holiday visits with family, a commenter wrote:

"I'm always running around, a few hours at this house, a few hours at that one, always watching the clock to make sure I've spent equal time with everyone. It takes a lot for me to declare a 'no driving day' while we're visiting and just stay put, even though we've traveled 21 hours to get there."

I am lucky in that my maternal grandparents' home is the central gathering spot for that side of the family, so though it might take a 10-hour drive in a snowstorm to get there, I can pretty much stay put once I've arrived. Now, I could spend the two or three short days there driving to my see all of my local first-cousins-once-removed, aunts and uncles, but I am a cold-hearted snake. "Let them come to me!" I declare, though what I really mean is, "They will be here any minute to visit the beloved matriarch and patriarch of the family, so I'm going to sit by the fireplace and read one of my grandma's Liberace biographies until they arrive." Thank goodness it works out, because that 20-hour round-trip winter-conditions drive is wearying enough without driving several more hours each day, going from house to house. As much as I love seeing my family, nobody will want to see me if I'm cranky, frazzled, and exhausted.

So, all of you who travel to see your family for the holidays, do you declare a no-driving day? Have you tried and been so guilt-tripped that you gave up? Have you found surefire ways to get local relatives to drive 20 minutes to see you, since you travelled 20 hours to see them? Please share for the good of your fellow readers!

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