We all have enough stuff. We have so much stuff that we are obsessed with books about getting rid of our stuff. Purging our junk is the latest fad.
For Christmas this year, give your family the gift that can’t be wrapped in a bow or trudged off to the Goodwill in a hefty bag when its novelty has faded.
Give the gift of time. You only get 18 summers with your kids. This is my last year with all four of my babies living at home full time. This year is going to be all about time together, I know they want hover boards, but they’re getting time with mom and dad. They’ll thank me later. Here are a few of my favorite ideas, and they don’t all have to break the bank.
Mayflower Hotel Presidential Package with Flytographer
One of our favorite family trips was to Washington D.C. The museums are so much fun for kids that Keaton, then five, cried “I want more museums” as we left town. We stayed at the Mayflower which was perfectly located and catered to families. This year they are offering an amazing package. I have done all of these activities and can tell you that they were all amazing, the monuments at night is a view of D.C. you’ll never forget.
The Mayflower Hotel is one of D.C.’s most storied properties and a Washington original since 1925. In honor of its recent declaration of independence (becoming an Autograph property in July of this year), the hotel has launched an exclusive package offering guests access to some of DC’s most iconic experiences, a special way to capture the best souvenir and a stay in the hotel’s most exclusive accommodation.
The Presidential Privilege package includes:
Two nights in the newly renovated Presidential or Mayflower suite. I’ve seen photos-just stunning.
An amazing Flytographer personal photographer to follow you around the nation’s capital, capturing you at the city’s most iconic locations, including your arrival to the U.S. Capitol. In case you are not familiar with the fabulousness that is Flytographer, you can read more HERE
A personal “secret service” butler on hand during your stay (I mean COME ON the only thing that could top this would be Jake himself)
The Mayflower Concierge to arrange your day of power in DC, complete with:
Special tour of the U.S. Capitol with a former Congressman, offering behind-the-scenes, exclusive access to rarely visited, private locations
Private Monument at Night Tour
Dinner at one of DC’s most exclusive restaurants
Limo transportation for the evening
Rates start at $5,000 – to reserve be sure that promotional code ZJL appears in the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation, or call 1-800-228-9290 in the US and ask for promotional code ZJL.
Valid through: November 5, 2016
Promotional Code: ZJL
A Luxury Art Trip to Cuba with Me
Come to Cuba with me for the trip of a lifetime. This is an exclusive opportunity see Cuba in a way that no other tour provider is offering. All of the hotels (and certainly the good ones) are sold out for so far into the future that travel agents aren’t even accepting bookings. You will experience the best Cuba has to offer and spend time with Cuban artists in their homes. The itinerary is unlike any other Cuban trip being offered. My side kick and official Spanish translator, Macie will be along. Many of those who have already booked are bringing a teenager. It’s going to be an experience that can never be repeated.
Here are Ten Reasons to Travel to Cuba with Luxury Travel Mom. You can read the official itinerary on the cazenove+loyd website.
A Gorgeous Timepiece from Rado
Every time one of my children asks me what time it is, I tell them “time for you to get a watch.” I get it, young people have phones, so they don’t need watches. But if that were true, then why are they always asking what time it is?
Instead of buying them a watch, I suggest getting yourself a gorgeous timepiece that is heirloom worthy. Someday they will appreciate it, and until then, you will have a gorgeous piece of arm candy. I was recently invited by Rado to preview their gorgeous new chocolate ceramic collection (Keaton and Duffy came along).
What’s the chocolate ceramic collection you ask? The watches are a unique colour and material combination that evokes the artistry and craftsmanship of Switzerland’s famed Maîtres Chocolatiers. The Rado HyperChrome family, known for its embodiment of everyday elegance, has added three new watches in this glossy chocolate colour just in time for the festive season.
These watches are scratch resistant, super lightweight, velvety in texture and have perfect Swiss time keeping. I’m a little obsessed with the HyperChrome with Diamonds if anyone happens to run into Santa, or Mr LTM. The Chocolate HyperChrome with Diamonds is a limited edition and retails for $7200. The bezel has 56 VVS Top Wesselton diamonds
A Family Ski Trip
I don’t think there is any better way to bond with your family than on the mountain. I am passionate about skiing as a family and even if you aren’t a skier, I recommend booking a trip with your brood. Read about “Why We are a Ski Family”
This fabulous ski guide will give you everything you need to know about where to book, what to wear and even has a hot cocoa cocktail recipe. Really, what more could you need?
Adventures by Disney
Keaton and I will be joining Adventures by Disney for a week in Costa Rica in January. As I’ve mentioned this, the response is always the same “What is Adventures by Disney?”
Here is the short answer, they provide world class tours all over the globe, all VIP, and amazing for kids. They describe the access that Disney has (and you can imagine that Disney has some access) as a backstage pass to the world. They can offer insider access in locations that no one else can. In Costa Rica we will be doing private catamarans, visiting turtle conservancies, volcanos and more. They even have a mojito making class. I mean, I’m already an expert, but I plan to give theirs a thorough review. The best way to book this is to just call my travel agent, Tim Burke, at 816-423-8045.
But why am I including them on this list? Because Disney does all the work and delivers a first class product, not only do you get the time with your family, you get all that time that you are not spending scouring the internet trying to design your own trip.
I’m excited to see the wild side of Costa Rica, so far I’ve only been to the Four Season, lovely, yet not very adventurous. What I’m really looking forward to is time alone with my son. Days get crazy and I often find myself telling him that I’ll listen to a story “later”, play a game with him “later, I have three other children to drive around, dinner to make, oh and a website to run. I’m secretly hoping my cell phone won’t even work while we are there. Also the turtles, I’m beside myself about the turtles.
Find more about Adventures by Disney HERE.
Playing Favorite Board Games with Your Family
You don’t have to leave the house to give your kids the gift of time. My kids LOVE to play board games and I confess that I don’t haul them out and play often enough. These are three of our family favorites.
My boys are obsessed with all things Star Wars, we bought our tickets to “The Force Awakens” two months ago. We play Star Wars Monopoly in the summer in Kiawah, they LOVE it. The rules are the same, but it’s super fun to own Tatooine.
Scrabble – also my favorite game from childhood, I used to watch my mom and her friends play this for hours. I attribute those nights of sitting in a haze of second hand smoke looking up words for them in the dictionary to my excellent spelling acumen.
And for the little ones – Heads Up. Keaton can still beat his teenage brother and sister at this one
Disclaimer-there are paid links in the post-cuz mama needs new shoes. So click, ok?