Chase Family Rock N Roll Christmas

Rock n Roll Christmas 2015

We decided to do Christmas a little differently this year. Instead of presents cascading around the tree (gift receipts aplenty), we decided to give the gift of making memories together. Soon after last Christmas our family determined we would set out on an annual holiday trip together instead of exchanging big gifts. We tried to center around something we all enjoyed in one way or another and music was the answer. Thus, Chase Family Rock n Roll Christmas was born. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.

Chase Family Rock n Roll Christmas

The truth is, how many of us can remember what we got last year for Christmas? Do you remember what you gave? I don’t. We wanted to give something that our family would always have. My hesitation was calmed with the assurance that we were giving gifts that would last a lifetime. (Insert idyllic visions of sugar plums and Rockwell moments here) We were gifting memories and future conversations of “Remember when? ” followed by lots of head nodding and laughter. Well, that was the idea. All fingers crossed.

We took the budget of what we would have traditionally spent on holiday traveling, wrapping, gifts added it up and discovered we had a sizable budget for a family trip. It wasn’t a fortune but it was enough that I wouldn’t constantly be totaling the amount in my head as we went along. I found an amazing deal on airfare for the 6 of us direct from Austin TX to Memphis, TN ($333.36 for all of us!!), a holiday special at the Peabody Hotel, and a vehicle upgrade on our rental car so that we would have enough room not to be squished in. I also looked around to see what attractions had discounted days or coupons.

Off to Memphis

We had a lot we wanted to do on our trip! I’ll detail all the great places we visited in separate posts soon but to name a few places we stopped while in Memphis: Graceland ( a total MUST if you are in Memphis), Sun Studio (probably the favorite place for all 6 of us, Arcade restaurant, a couple of vintage thrift shops, Beale Street, crossed the Mississippi River, and ate delicious BBQ.  We even took a day trip to visit Nashville. Music abounds in these places and coming from Austin made the perfect transition to show our children and teens a music rich history. It was a wonderful experience.

elvis sun studio memphis

I can’t say I didn’t have my doubts from time to time, before and after the trip. I mean we were TOTALLY breaking tradition.  How would everyone feel  Christmas morning without a physical a stack of presents to open? Would we miss all the shopping and wrapping? What do we do on Christmas morning?!?

Full disclosure: We did have a few surprises Christmas morning. We all purchased smaller, thoughtful stocking stuffers for one another. The only rule was that all gifts were to be thoughtful, and no one was required to give. I gave each of the children a copy of our family picture that we took at Graceland together and am finishing up a family photo album of our time together this season.

All fears dissipate when I look back at these photos though.

Memphis Rock n Roll Christmas

These special moments can’t be purchased or planned for.

Peabody Rock n Roll Christmas

They can’t be wrapped up with bows or carefully tucked away under the tree but they were the very best we could have given this season and I am so happy we did.

It really has been one of the most relaxing Christmas seasons ever. We have spent our time talking with one another and doing all the “little things” that really make holiday time special. We’ve watched movies together, cooked holiday meals, baked cookies and made hot chocolate. Most of all we haven’t felt rushed or mentally ( or financially) exhausted wondering if everything on the list was checked off.

What has been the best part of your holiday season ? Have you ever done something that broke tradition during the holidays?

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