By Marlene Kern Fischer of Thoughts From Aisle Four
Reliable sources have reported that a local family will not be traveling over winter break this year. These sources learned firsthand of the family’s lack of holiday plans when they asked them whether they would be skiing or heading for warmer climes for the school break, only to be told the shocking news.
The parents of the family of five, who wished to remain anonymous, said they decided to stay home in order to save a little money for their kids’ college funds and were somewhat surprised by the reactions to their decision.
“We really didn’t mean to upset people with our decision; we just thought we were making a fiscally responsible choice,” stated the father. He added, “We understand we are going against conventional norms but we felt it was something we needed to do this year.”
The mother said she had planned some day trips and activities for her young brood that included bowling, ice-skating and movies. She said she looked forward to being home with some downtime so that they could relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Other citizens who were interviewed for this article said that they could not remember the last time they heard of a family with school-aged children staying home over Christmas break and said they felt it was an obligation, as well as a matter of civic pride, to travel during that time.
One woman said that she would be too embarrassed to stay home. She said that she felt pressure to plan a trip so that she could post “perfect family” photos on Facebook and Instagram, even though she’d be yelling at her kids to behave for long enough to take those pictures.
She talked about past trips her family had taken, which included going out West to ski (where one kid shattered an elbow snowboarding), an African safari (where she said they were nearly killed in a stampede), a tour of Eastern Europe (where the kids complained about the boring museums and fought nonstop) and exotic locales in the Caribbean (where they all got seasick when her husband suggested they go deep sea fishing on a windy day). She confessed that she had enjoyed very few of the trips and, in truth, her kids were not great travelling companions but that she could never admit this to her friends.
“What if mine is the only family that is dysfunctional?” she mused half out loud.
Another, more irate, member of the community said she did not understand why the family could not at least go to Florida. With an annoyed tone, the woman insisted that “everyone has a relative in Florida. Why couldn’t they just go there and take a few pictures under a palm tree at the beach? They are just being lazy and irresponsible. College is years away for their kids and anyway, that’s what student loans or state school are for.”
At press time the family said that, although they had not quite finalized their plans, they wanted people to know they would be headed to California over the February break. They also said that, while they appreciated the genuine concern for their well-being, they hoped this new information put an end to the worries and comments that had been dogging them.
About the Author
Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mother of three sons, food shopper extraordinaire, lifelong writer, blogger and college essay editor. She graduated cum laude from Brandeis University with a degree in literature. Her work has been featured on CollegiateParent, Kveller, Grown and Flown, the Erma Bombeck Writers’s Workshop, Her View From Home, Beyond Your Blog and Better After 50. You can read more of her work on her blog: Thoughts From Aisle Four.