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An Empty-Nesters' Christmas Trip

Updated on April 21, 2015
Image of an Empty Bird's Nest used with Suzanne's permission.
Image of an Empty Bird's Nest used with Suzanne's permission. | Source

From Family Christmas Times Together ....

To the "Empty Nesters" Christmas Alone!

For the first 18 years of parenthood, Christmas was a family time filled with traditions established over the years. But eventually the 'baby birds' grow up, fly away and build their own 'nests'. Thus begins their own Christmas times and traditions, as it should be, leaving the parents with an 'empty nest'.

Christopher and 'friends'
Christopher and 'friends' | Source

First Christmas as a Parent

Christopher and 'friends'...

On our first Christmas as a parent in 1962, Christopher was barely 3 months old. Christmas was mainly stuffed toys and animals for him, but we began establishing some of the Christmas traditions that were to become part of every Christmas from then on. Bob had some favorite Christmas memories from his childhood; I had some from mine, so favorite traditions were 'merged' and others were added as time went on.

Christmas 1968 in Lincoln, Nebraska
Christmas 1968 in Lincoln, Nebraska | Source

A Son and a Daughter

Christmas 1968 found us living in Lincoln, Nebraska and our family now included 6-year-old Christopher and 3-year-old Kimberly. Sleepy-looking Kim was actually a very sick little girl who barely had the energy to unwrap her gifts.... and no interest in playing with her new toys. She had pneumonia and ran a high fever and we had to 'beg' the pediatrician to let her stay out of the hospital long enough for Christmas morning with big brother. A scary Christmas Day, but she soon recovered.

Christmas in South Carolina - 1974
Christmas in South Carolina - 1974 | Source

Christmas 1974

It's Christmas Day, 1974 in North Augusta, South Carolina.

Little brother, Gregory, joined Chris & Kim and the three children enjoyed Christmas morning together.

Our family is complete!

And now we are a Family of Five! (Plus the Cat Stocking :-)

And now we are a Family of Five!     (Plus the Cat Stocking :-)
And now we are a Family of Five! (Plus the Cat Stocking :-)
Christmas in California - 1975
Christmas in California - 1975

Christmas in California - 1975

Our Christmas times were shared in many different places over the years.

We lived on the California Central Coast when the children were school-age. This was our first Christmas in California after a major move across country from South Carolina! Coast-to-coast, Christmas is always special.

Christmas with Teenagers
Christmas with Teenagers

Christmas with Teenagers

Missouri - 1985

Another move... and now we're in Columbia, Missouri.

The teen years were upon us. The 'kids' were bigger, the gifts had changed from dolls & toy trucks to clothes, music, books and 'gadgets'.

The Family Continues to Grow...

Missouri - 1990

Still in Missouri -- different house...

By 1990, the 'kids' were quite grown up. The youngest was in college and the older two brought 'significant others', who would later become their spouses, home for Christmas.

First Christmas on Tybee Island, Georgia after retirement.
First Christmas on Tybee Island, Georgia after retirement. | Source

We're 'Empty-Nesters'....

But Christmas is Still a Family Holiday.

By Christmas 1993 we had retired to Tybee Island, Georgia. We were technically 'empty-nesters' at that time, but holidays still brought the 'kids' home.

The youngest, Greg, was married and attending graduate school in Florida, Kimberly was living in St. Louis, and Christopher & wife Kathie were in Kansas City. At the time, my mother was also living in Florida, so for the next few years most everyone traveled to our house for the holidays.

Christmas 1994 included a Wedding!

A Christmas wedding on Tybee Island - 1994
A Christmas wedding on Tybee Island - 1994 | Source

A Joyous Wedding Occasion for Christmas

Christmas 1994 we actually had an overflow of visitors. In addition to our three grown 'kids' and my mother, our guests included Kimberly's best friend, Dawn, who came to be her 'maid-of-honor', as Kim & Paul were married on December 23rd - two days before Christmas - at the Lighthouse on Tybee Island.

After the wedding, everyone stayed on for Christmas Day.

Christmas Morning 1994

Christmas Tree with gifts
Christmas Tree with gifts
Kim and best friend, Dawn
Kim and best friend, Dawn | Source
Bob & Pat - the Parents!
Bob & Pat - the Parents!

First Holiday with an "Empty Nest"

For 6 more years, Christmas continued to be a "together" time. But by 1999, we had finally become true 'empty-nesters'. Greg now had 2 sons and had moved to Denver. My mother had moved back to New York State. Our other two were married and had busy lives in the Midwest. Suddenly we were facing Christmas alone and the whole point of a 'family' Christmas was missing.

What we decided to do that first Christmas we were 'alone' was to NOT stay home and NOT decorate for the holidays, In other words, do something completely different. What we did was to take a CHRISTMAS TRIP.

First Christmas without a Tree!
First Christmas without a Tree! | Source

Christmas Morning - 1999

Christmas morning 1999, the extent of our holiday decorations was a tiny ceramic Christmas Tree on our dining room table surrounded by the gifts we were giving each other and ones our family had sent. We'd earlier mailed out our gifts to the rest of the family. We had our traditional Christmas breakfast of sweet rolls, juice and coffee, opened our gifts, then packed up and left for...... CHARLESTON!

From Savannah, GA to Charleston, SC

Google Maps
Google Maps
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge - Hwy 17. Charleston/Mount Pleasant, SC
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge - Hwy 17. Charleston/Mount Pleasant, SC | Source

Christmas in Charleston

We'd decided that Christmas in Charleston, South Carolina (only about a 3-hour trip from our home in Georgia) was the perfect 'getaway'. Charleston has many interesting holiday events and places to visit, so we found a 'deal' on a hotel in Mount Pleasant, SC (located just across the Charleston Harbor from the city of Charleston) that offered a 2-for-1 package (stay one night, 2nd night free) and that's what we did.

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (shown here) connects Charleston with Mount Pleasant, SC on Highway 17.

Charleston and Savannah ... Sights to See in the Coastal Low-Country

I wish I'd had this book before our trip. It would have been a great help for some of the best must-see sights and local secrets of Charleston, and probably some things I didn't already know about Savannah and the Georgia/South Carolina Low-Country!

Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands Book: A Complete Guide, Fifth Edition (A Great Destinations Guide)
Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands Book: A Complete Guide, Fifth Edition (A Great Destinations Guide)
The Savannah and Charleston areas, with their surrounding coastal islands, are known collectively as the 'Low-country', because of all the rivers and marshy areas. I've lived here for more than 15 years and there are still things I'm learning about this delightful area of the Southern U.S.
Rainy Weather
Rainy Weather | Source

The Weather Did Not Cooperate!

But we took the trip anyway!

We should have taken into consideration the effect the Austin Weather Curse* would have on our trip, but we blithely left the house, got in the car, and drove to Charleston ... in the 'pouring rain'! The high temperature of the day hovered around 42 degrees; fog and rain dominated the day - and night - and continued on into the second day of our two-day 'getaway'. The end result was the cancellation of some of our Christmas Trip sight-seeing plans, but cold and wet though we became, we couldn't give up everything we had planned to see and do! After all, it's Christmas!

*The 'Austin Weather Curse' is a long story - best told in another Hub!

Mt. Pleasant, SC
Mt. Pleasant, SC | Source

Christmas Day in Charleston & Mount Pleasant...

2:00 PM: Arrived at hotel in Mount Pleasant, SC. Checked in, then went for a quick ride around the Mount Pleasant area.

3:00 PM: Raining too hard to see much - foggy on the waterfront - returned to hotel. Decided our plans for a seafood dinner on the waterfront and our driving tour of the annual "Holiday Festival of Lights" was a 'washout'.

6:00 PM: Had dinner in the hotel dining room, empty except for about 3 other people in the same boat we were.

7:00 PM: Returned to hotel room. Spent rest of evening 'inside' due to weather. We DID get to see a movie on TV that had been filmed in Savannah about a story that took place in Savannah and which we had yet to see, so the TV screen brought a bit of 'home' into our hotel room. The movie was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Quite a coincidence! Drive 3 hours away from home, and we're transported back via television!

USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point
USS Yorktown at Patriot's Point | Source

U.s.s. Yorktown (cv-10)

An Essex-class aircraft carrier

Day After Christmas - December 26: Still cold, still lightly raining and foggy. But... onward and upward. One of the sights we REALLY wanted to see was the Museum Ship USS Yorktown located right down the road from our hotel in Mount Pleasant, SC. Bob has always had a big interest in military history.

USS Yorktown (CV/CVA/CVS-10) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War. Commissioned in April 1943, she participated in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations. The ship was then decommissioned shortly after the end of the war and in the early 1950s she was modernized and recommissioned as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS). Recommissioned too late to participate in the Korean War, she served for many years in the Pacific, including duty in the Vietnam War, in which she earned five battle stars. Late in her career she was used in the movie "Tora! Tora! Tora!" which recreated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The Yorktown also served as a recovery ship for the Apollo 8 space mission. The Yorktown was decommissioned in 1970 and in 1975 became a museum ship at Patriot's Point, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. She is a National Historic Landmark.

We spent about 4 hours touring the USS Yorktown and still didn't see all of it. Aircraft carriers are very big! Twice we left the ship and walked back to the Museum gift shop, partly to browse, partly to 'warm up'. Despite the cold and wet weather, we enjoyed our tour.

USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier - Our few pictures on this rainy tour

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bob touring the USS Yorktown.USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier is now a floating museum at Patriot's Point, SC.
Bob touring the USS Yorktown.
Bob touring the USS Yorktown.
USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier is now a floating museum at Patriot's Point, SC.
USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier is now a floating museum at Patriot's Point, SC.

A Memory of our tour of the USS Yorktown

Shrimp Scampi
Shrimp Scampi | Source

Finished off the day with a Seafood Dinner

Nothing like 'Seafood' on the waterfront!

December 26, 6:00 PM: After the Patriots Point tour, we returned to our hotel and changed for dinner. We found a delightful seafood restaurant near Charleston Harbor in Mount Pleasant and had a very delicious shrimp scampi meal.

End of our Christmas Trip to Charleston

December 27 - end of trip: The following morning we checked out of our hotel and drove home to Tybee Island. Despite the cold and the rain, our Christmas trip to the Charleston, SC area was an interesting diversion to the 'empty-nest' feel to our first Christmas alone.

What We Didn't Get to See! - Holiday Festival of Lights

Holiday Festival of Lights - Charleston, SC
Holiday Festival of Lights - Charleston, SC

Holiday Festival of Lights, Charleston, SC

For more than 20 years, the Holiday Festival of Lights has taken place in James Island County Park located just a short drive from downtown Charleston.

We were very disappointed that the weather kept us from seeing this beautiful display during our Christmas Trip, because judging by the pictures on the following website, it is a beautiful Christmas event well worth seeing. Beginning November 14 and continuing through December 31, the festival is a great place to gather family and friends to capture the magic of the holiday season. Details are available at the Charleston County Parks website.

A Special Christmas Trip!

Our life's journey involved many location changes. We've spent Christmas in 7 different States and half-again as many residences. We've taken only two trips away from home at Christmas-time... this has been one of them.

Thanks for joining us on our 'Christmas Trip'. It was fun to share the 'memories'. Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday Season!

© 2009 Wednesday-Elf

Where have YOU spent Christmas? - Have you ever traveled for Christmas?

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    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Spending Christmas somewhere warm is always a great idea, aesta1. Glad you enjoyed the holiday season. Happy New Year.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting. You sure enjoyed an empty nester's Christmas. We did the same this Christmas because we just wanted to avoid the cold.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Thanks Lady Guinevere. Yep, Christmastime changes once the children are grown and gone. The 'decorating' becomes a personal choice not driven by needing and wanting to make it what the 'kids' would expect and be thrilled with. As 'empty-nesters' we have only ourselves to please and if that includes NO decorating or not even staying home for Christmas, that's now our choice. I definitely MISS the Christmastimes with children, but now see the holiday in a different way. :-)

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 

      5 years ago from West By God

      Wow! Now that is having a great time as an empty nester. We are too and I am so glad that you wrote about this. I am happy to know that I do not have to feel guilty for not decorating for Christmas.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Children have a way of growing up and leaving home -- but they are always in our hearts. Happy Holidays to you.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Thanks, Ruthi. My 'nest' is always ready for my 'birds' to visit. :)

    • profile image

      Ruth Cox 

      5 years ago

      What a treasure trove of Christmas memories you've shared here. The birds may have grown and flown but I've a feeling your nest isn't empty at all. Merry Christmas, Ms. Elf!

    • profile image

      Marsha Cooper 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your memories in photos.

      This will be my first Christmas with no children at home any longer.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      That Christmas was definitely the beginning of a different kind of Christmas - not better or worse; just different. As you say, Mouse, nothing stays the same forever. Since that Christmas trip, I have spent Christmas with my grown kids and grandchildren several times - Christmas is most definitely for KIDS. :)

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      5 years ago from United States

      I really enjoyed looking at your family photos over the years! Change is always inevitable. I think it is awesome the way you just found another way to enjoy the holidays.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @Brite-ideas - what a lovely way to put it 'a library of life'. I've been putting together some 'memories' for my kids & grandsons and now I have a title. Thank you.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      You've created a wonderful library of life here - what a terrific keepsake for the family as well - I'm not an empty nester yet - can't imagine this part of life right now! beautiful page

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      6 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I've only traveled for Christmas a few times to spend it with my husband's family about 300 miles away. Most years we stay home since all of our kids live nearby.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Having moved to Florida this year, away from family and close friends, it will be a lonesome dove kind of holiday for me, but hey, at least I will not be shoveling snow!

    • Glenda Motsavage profile image

      Glenda Motsavage 

      7 years ago from The Sunshine State

      We've been Empty Nester's for the past 17 years. We usually stay home for Christmas, but a few years ago we went to Hilton Head for the Holiday. Mixed emotions - my husband loved being away, I prefer to be home (even if we are alone!)

      I truly enjoyed your lens, and felt like I was right there with you - thanks for making it so personal. And, congrats on the well-deserved Purple Star!

      PS...Love the Empty Nester's Christmas Ornament!

    • cdcraftee profile image

      Christine Larsen 

      7 years ago from South Australia

      A memorable one was an empty-nester (pre-kids) when we had a major power break, couldn't milk our cows, couldn't get to my brother's in the city for a slap-up Christmas lunch, and ate a sandwich made with the only thing in my fridge - fritz (a large cooked meat sausage peculiar to South Australia) and tomato sauce, washed down with milk.

      But we did make it to tea there, and had a great night, missed the night milking and milked at some unGodly hour next a.m.

      Life is never been boring on a farm.

      Hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas, no matter how far apart - and the best of all years in 2013.


    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      7 years ago

      Stopping back by with a little Angel dust for this great page!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      What a great story of your Christmas trip - even if the weather didn't cooperate! Angel blessed

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      7 years ago from United States

      I know I have been her before, but I wanted to stop by and say I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      7 years ago

      Now I know I have something to look forward to! A couple of more years and we will be in the same boat, I am sure. I like the "adventure" you two had, bad weather included. It made for terrific memories!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I really enjoyed reading about your Christmas times!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I loved the pictures of the kids as they grew. What a great way to display an empty nester page. My daughters are with their own family's and for me Christmas's are generally spent at home relaxing.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      7 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I really enjoyed this page. We too are empty nesters and the day does seem lonely when the kids are grown and on their own. This is a wonderful idea!

    • mel-kav profile image


      7 years ago

      I so enjoyed reading your lens. Love the photos of your kids in 1975. Looks like the photos of me and my brothers back then.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Returning to freshen the angel dust!

    • Paul Ward profile image


      8 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Angel Blessing for seizing an opportunity and enjoying it.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      8 years ago from Havre de Grace

      It's a good idea to stay open to change and most of the time it's for the best!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      We having been taking a short five-hour one way trip each Christmas since Mom died, to spend Christmas with my brother and his family. On the way we spend Christmas Eve with special friends and stay in Agora HIlls, though it may be Simi Valley this year.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My, how time flies. I can relate. Nicely done.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      truly enjoyed your blog this morning, great to see that you and your sweatheart enjoyed Christmas on your own, remaining friends over the years and going on your own is what I want to do with my sweatheart as the years continue. right now, we've got our four kids, none of them yet teenagers and are in the middle stage that you had in your photos. Hope this Christmas is fun for you too! Squidliked your great lens, thank you.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      8 years ago from Colorado

      Things really do change as kids grow up and start celebrating the holidays in new ways. It's good to try new approaches to holiday experiences. Each season of life brings opportunities if we continue to move forward and treasure what is. Appreciated learning more about your family journey.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      8 years ago from East Central Florida

      We've had no kids in the house for years. Mom and Dad lived with us for their last years, and we did up Christmas big for them, knowing each one could be their last. Since they've gone, it's been empty, indeed! But, one year was VERY special. That year, we spent Christmas day at sea. That Christmas cruise turned out to be one of our favorite memories.

    • Rusty Quill profile image

      Rusty Quill 

      8 years ago

      What a great story. :) As kids we took a family trip from the midwest to Texas for Christmas - it was a bit odd going from the traditional white Christmas (several feet of snow) to a balmy 60 degree evening Christmas Eve in Texas. It was a fun trip though good memories. :)

    • yayas profile image


      8 years ago

      What a delightful trip you've shared with us. I never thought about changing things up as Empty Nesters. 'Course, if we could take a trip we would pro'lly strike out to see summa' the kids for Christmas. At least one of the families lives just a few hours away.

      Thanks for taking me back to Charleston. I used to live there an' truly loved it. Great page.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I thoroughly enjoyed this empty nester's Christmas adventure! I notice you have roots in Missouri (my home) and also I have been to Tybee Island and LOVED it there. I'm also an empty nester now, and enjoy ideas about spending the holidays in nontraditional ways. Once I spent Christmas in the Rockies and another time on a remote island in the Caribbean, and must admit those were some of my favorite holiday memories ever.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I have never ever travelled for Christmas, and have always had Christmas with my parents, my inlays and our daughter. I hope it stays that way :) Wonderful lens, here is a little Halloween treat *Blessed

    • Aquavel profile image


      8 years ago

      I've traveled (to New York, Boston, and Toronto over Christmas) and have also spent Christmas alone and away from family.

      Christmas with loved ones is always best! Beautiful lens and memories! Thanks for sharing!

    • GypsyPirate LM profile image

      GypsyPirate LM 

      8 years ago

      I've never travelled for Christmas - even the 1 year I wasn't living within minutes of family I came home for Christmas. I now host Christmas Eve for my extended family and I really enjoy it. So far, none of us have gone that far from any of our nests. I loved reading about your trip though - especially the aircraft carrier, as that is the sort of thing I would seek out also. Do you think you'll try a return trip to get to see the holiday light show?

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Beautiful memories... thank you so much for sharing!

    • sheriangell profile image


      8 years ago

      I loved all of your personal photos.

    • Ann-Marie LM profile image

      Ann-Marie LM 

      8 years ago

      Hi, you certainly struck a chord with me on this one. Thanks for a really lovely personal lens. Best wishes from Ann-Marie.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      9 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Just back to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year ahead. May the love, peace and joy of this Christmas season be with you! **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It's not easy to have a empty nest that's for sure.

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image


      9 years ago

      It's always hard to break out of tradition like spending Christmas without the kids. I understand! Merry Christmas to you.

    • littlelu lm profile image

      littlelu lm 

      9 years ago

      Hi Elf! Thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed your lens. I'm a bit of an empty nester this year as my oldest went off to college. Still have 2 at home to keep me company :)

    • MikeEssex profile image


      9 years ago

      My parents seem to celebrate Christmas at a much more relaxed pace since I moved out. So they'll have a nice long lie in and open their presents across the entire week after! Still once I arrive I can convince them to open them quicker.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is such a lovely lens, you have a very lovely family. It is truly hard when the kids all grow.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      9 years ago from California

      Pat...Congrats on the Purple Star, and now this Christmas you will again be by family. It is a different experience once the kids are grown and start their own traditions. Trips sound like just the thing for an Empty Nester to make new memories :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Glad you still managed to have a good time and saw some interesting sights.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      9 years ago

      My most memorable Christmas as a teen was when we lived on Guam. The Navy housing was pretty nice. We got up, opened gifts, had an open house for all our friends that were displaced from family as well and went to the beach. Mom and dad had given me a timex watch for Christmas. I promptly wore it into the ocean and ruined (about 7 hours after I got it!).

      I really enjoyed your story, then again, I always do!

    • rachsue lm profile image

      rachsue lm 

      9 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your pics. My children are currently 12 so I have to see them leave the nest soon. It scares me all the time. But we all had to leave at one point. Maybe we then can travel more. Again thank you so much for sharing

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      Love the family photos. We still have the full-nest Christmas going on, but already one of ours is gone off to college, so I know the time will come. Enjoy your holidays!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      9 years ago

      What a wonderful tour at the Elf's house then beyond. I would love to visit more places on the east coast and Charleston is one of them. Thanks for sharing your great story. Angel Blessed and featured on Angel Wings November 2010.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You brought tears to my eyes........ My daughter is 14 years old still, but I'm already thinking about my future as an "empty-nester".......... In a few years from now......... I don't know how I'm going to cope when she moves out...............

    • malloryjane profile image


      9 years ago

      This will be my third Christmas away from home, as I've been traveling/working abroad for awhile. I'm 22 and miss my family very much during the holidays. Last year, I was lucky enough to spend my Christmas with a lovely Australian family with young children, which made things fun! This year will be in China - probably won't decorate and do much for Christmas, other than teach about it!

      Great lens, I especially enjoyed the pictures of your children growing up!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, because our families are often in other countries or we are in other countries, travel has been so much a part of our Christmas. It is fun but I miss my fresh Christmas tree and snow. I like your story, though. Nice kids.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Wasn't there a movie that started out like this? Empty nesters not wanting to stay home for Christmas, no putting up decorations... but it didn't end like your story. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Thank you for sharing thee stories and pictures of your adventures. This has been so much fun to see and get to know more about you, your family and events. I have a empty nest and am a happy single for the time being.

    • spunkyduckling profile image


      9 years ago

      Thanks for the trip! It was beautiful..aww too bad you didn't get to see the holiday festival of lights. It looks so beautiful in the picture. Loved every moment of reading this lens and seeing the beautiful family photos. Very happy bunch :)

    • hotbrain profile image


      9 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      I liked seeing your Christmas pictures! It's fun to see how your kids grew up! I have spent Christmas with my grandparents in Key Largo. It was so much fun and so different to be in a warm climate for Christmas! One of my best Christmas memories :)

    • profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      9 years ago

      Interesting to read about your Christmases over the years. We are nearing the empty nest stage of our lives.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      What a personal and beautiful lens ~ you got me quite immersed while reading it! I moved away from the family when I was 22 (some thousand miles away) to another country altogether, where I spent 6 years, but thankfully every year I was able to visit (mostly during Christmas time) family. I've spent Christmas in India, UAE and Canada. Can't believe it's only 48 days to Christmas. Hope you have and Bob have a blessed one! :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You know ... I am looking at that mapped route from Savannah to Charleston and wondering, isn't there a more direct route? It rather minds me of our "trip" on Friday afternoon -- not the most direct route.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      9 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      We've traveled to visit family for Christmas, but not a "Christmas Trip" with just the two of us. Thanks for sharing a fun idea for those who are experiencing being "empty nesters" over the holidays.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      I'm far from the reality of an empty nest. My daughter is only 11. I think that although it must be hard in some ways, the freedom must be nice as well.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is certainly a very different lens to anything else I have seen on Squidoo. I must admit I cannot imagine not having anyone home for Christmas. With four children, two still school age, plus a grandchild on the way (there's a huge gap between child #1 and child #4!) I am hoping that there will always be someone coming home for Christmas.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I enjoyed reading this and seeing how your Christmases changed over the years.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I was looking forward to my time as an empty nester but somehow I couldn't get rid of the grandchildren!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This was a lovely essay!

      Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 

      9 years ago

      That empty nest syndrome can really hit home at christmas time. Taking a trip away is a great idea and helps fill the void that many people feel. I guess I'm lucky in that my family only lives a couple of hours away so I still usually get to see them at Christmas.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      What a wonderful lens. I am thinking we may be around the same age, my children grown and out of the house and what I found funny is your family pictures from the past look almost like mine from my childhood. Same film type, the christmas tree, hairstyles. Great lens!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @VarietyWriter2: Thanks so much for the SquidAngel blessing, WeddingZazzle!

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image


      9 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 

      9 years ago

      Regardless of the weather, it sounds as if you had a wonderful time, Pat.

      I hate to think about what it will be like when my son is out of the house. It scares me something awful, because that's what I've been for years... a mother. He is sixteen now. I've tried hard to become more involved with my hobbies the last three years, as I don't want to feel totally lost without him. I'm not much for sitting around and chilling. I really need to stay busy and busy doesn't mean watching TV. I have to feel as if I'm doing something constructive. Constructive varies from person to person. I realize that. I'm not saying that there is anything wrong with watching TV. I don't know.. Blah. Blah.

      I love this lens. It made me think.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      9 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      The good news is you still have each other! I think a Christmas trip is a great idea (although certainly the weather could have been better)

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Wow! I can see that your family has grown up alot! its nice to see the entire transition and some great ideas to make the festive season fun regardless of whether family is right beside you or not.. :) nice lens...

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Yes Christmas does change over the years, and loved ones are missed, but we still have the memories. Thanks for the lens.

    • justholidays profile image


      10 years ago

      What a marvelous account of your first Christmas "alone"... I don't know how I would do when my son will get married and wouldn't celebrate Christmas at home. But indeed, a trip somewhere might be a good idea and break the loneliness of such a holiday.

      Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image


      10 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your Christmas story. Our little one is 12 yo and I often wonder what we will do with ourselves when she has a home of her own. Although she tells me now she will never leave!

      I know of all there places you mention here. We lived near Savannah GA a few years ago and made it out to Tybee Island a few times. We've also visited Charleston many times (we used to live near Columbia SC). We used to fish quite often out of Shem Creek and eat at the wonderful restaurants there.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Spent a long vacation on Tybee Island once. One of my fondest memories. Really enjoyed your empty-nesters Christmas trip.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      10 years ago from United States

      This is absolutely Fabulous!!! I feel like I know your whole family now! I am sorry that the weather did not "play fair," but what what a wonderful idea!!! Totally Awesome and Totally Blessed!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @poptastic: What a wonderfully sweet way to begin spreading your new angel wings, by re-visiting my lens. Your lovely words have me close to tears. You are very much appreciated, Cynthia, and I am very honored. Thank you.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      10 years ago from Quezon City

      I remember loving and being touched by this lens the first time I saw it so I came back to give it an extra boost. (: *blessed by an angel*

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @happynutritionist: Thanks so much for the lensroll. Hope you get to visit Charleston one day. It's a fascinating city.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Love the way you put this together, beautiful...we have yet to travel over the Christmas holidays due to family gatherings, but one day we will. Areas you mention are familiar as my Dad grew up down there as a child, fond memories of his stories, and a place I hope to see...I'm lensrolling into Baby Boomer Vacation Planning, and of course 5 stars.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      10 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Great story and a wonderful way to chronicle your memories for your family. Oh, I didn't know that you had a child to get married at Lighthouse on Tybee Island. That must have been beautiful. Too funny that you traveled to Charleston only to see Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. That book and movie sure has done a lot for the tourism in Savannah. Our favorite place to stay in Mt Pleasant is Shem Creek Inn. We love it there and hope to go back sometime soon. Very nicely done.

    • pkmcruk profile image


      10 years ago from Cheshire UK

      What a wonderful lens and story - Blessed by a Squid Angel :-)

    • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

      Kate Phizackerl1 

      10 years ago

      Well worthy of a blessing. Blessed.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      10 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Sweet lens and I enjoyed reading it. 5*

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      10 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      What a great lens...I enjoyed hearing about the places you've been. Our lives have taken us to many of the same places...we've lived in 6 homes in Missouri--St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia and now that we're retired we stay in Florida in March. Tybee Island and Charleston are favorite places to visit! Thanks for the memories....the kids still travel home around Christmas...but I can see the day coming soon where we'll look for a Christmas trip! Happy 2010! Blessed by a SquidAngel

    • VSP profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for sharing.

    • norma-holt profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a great lens. Nice family pics and passionate writing. Great presentation. Top marks and lensrolled to the great outdoors.

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      Beth Webster-Duerr 

      10 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your Christmas trip diary. Haven't had a Christmas Trip yet as we are just barely empty nesters, but looking forward to one. 5 stars and thanks again.

    • groovyfind profile image

      Samantha Lynn 

      10 years ago from Missouri


    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 

      10 years ago from Vermont

      All my Christmas holidays have been spent in the Northeast, nearly all of them with at least a covering of snow. Having an empty nest hasn't been hard - it's being away from the grandkids over the holidays that gets to me ... so I drive north to New England during the 12 days to see them all. Nicely done lens - and a good idea for any empty-nesters or anyone who might be alone: take a trip for the holidays!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @mysticmama lm: I'm so pleased you thought my lens was 'bless-worthy. Thanks so much.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 

      10 years ago

      Beautiful lens...Blessed by an Angel!

    • WhiteOak50 profile image


      10 years ago

      I have been to Charleston, SC before, it is indeed an interesting place. I took a weekend trip just me, stayed one night in Charleston and came back to Georgia the next day. Very nice job on this lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a great trip through time. How it flies! We will be facing that empty nest too in a few years and I like your idea of taking a trip. Those lights look amazing - too bad you didn't get to see them.


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