Four years ago my family began a new tradition. In an effort to avoid the consumerism of Christmas, we began making gifts and going on a small trip. (By small I mean 1-2 nights in a hotel somewhere, the first year not even venturing out of town.) I’ve admittedly gotten bad (i.e. lazy) about the homemade gifts part, but the trips, I look forward to, as they tend to get better each year. Usually we go during the week, but this year, working gal that I am, we must go over the weekend. The trip will officially begin while I’m at work when Alan and the kids head to Chicago and I’ll catch a bus to O’Hare tomorrow night where–if all goes well–they’ll be waiting for me. I’m looking forward to the family time, the good food, regrouping, and if I’m honest, that hour and a half bus ride when I can sit alone and read.