Every year my mothers family gets together for a Christmas outing. Sometimes it’s at someone’s house, sometimes in a rented hall and sometimes we go away. We are upwards of 50 people, converging from all directions on one poor, unsuspecting, Inn or Resort stupid enough to welcome us home. We range in age from <1 to 89 and our personalities are about was varied as our ages. Yet, it’s the season of family, isn’t it? With festive decorations, delicious treats, and catchy tunes to sing along to it’s easy to see why people gather this time of year.
This year we targeted Skytop Lodge (PA) for our 3 day adventure and they rolled out a glistening carpet of snow to welcome us. The Inn was beautifully decorated and wonderfully warm, the staff helpful and friendly, and around every corner a new delight was found. The kids were thoroughly entertained with the game room, ice skating rink and activities such as gingerbread house making and the reptile show. Adults could gather around a roaring fire sipping hot cider (or something stronger), nibble on freshly baked cookies and reminisce about years past. The meals were as extravagant as the views of the surrounding mountains, the milkshakes richly satisfying and the drinks generously poured. Beyond all that it was a wonderful setting for young cousins to reconnect, new babies to be introduced and to just enjoy the meaning of family.
Most people I speak to can’t image so many of us going away together, even at the Inn other families were stopping to ask about our tradition. Often I hear “we only get together for weddings and funerals” – if this sounds like your family maybe it’s time to suggest something “different” this year. Whether your family is big or small, your event simple or extravagant, there is just something about holidays, families, and friends together that makes the season brighter.
Whatever you celebrate and whoever you celebrate with – Happy Holidays.