Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Sun and Giving Back

I just came back from an amazing 4 days in South Beach Miami and Key West Florida with my sister celebrating her 40th Birthday. Note to self: Always have a birthday destination celebration. Especially somewhere sunny and tropical!

Since my sister is a December baby, so is my mother (on 12/12) and my precious little boy (12/13) who will be turning 4 yrs old this year. So you can imagine I am feeling a little wee bit mucho feeling the pressure since that is how I am wired. Who isn't? Not only do I have the pressure to make sure my son has a beautiful experience with Christmas (this year he is really into Santa Claus) as well as his birthday. It is not his fault he was born in December!

What better way to decompress prior to the madness with a getaway mi ermana ( Miami is very Spanish, in fact, you better practice speaking Spanish as you feel you are literally in South America or the Caribbean). We have not been to Miami since before we got married and had children. Yikes!

I am very lucky my husband was able to take time off while mommy "had to go and meet Santa Claus in person and ensure he knows what a good little boy her son is and reconfirm his gift list".
Hey, a parent has got to do whatever it takes to make their children happy right? Smile.

My sister is a great travel partner as we have travelled halfway around the globe together since we were in our teens and twenties. We spent 2 1/2 months in Europe back in the day when Europe was affordable. There was no such thing as the 'euro' back then. We saw the Berlin Wall. You get the idea now.

We had a nice and stress free holiday and now I know why people go somewhere warm in the winter months. Snowbirds and "nortoamericanos" is what they call us who come visit. Imagine wearing flip flops and tank tops in the month of December when the high was 87 degrees and the low was....gasp! 70s. I could get used to coming down here more often! A funny sight for us was watching the female Miamians ( I hope that is the correct way I address the natives down there) wear winter boots of any kind with their outfits.

Alas, all good things have to come to an end and on my way back home I had a layover in Atlanta. Since I had some time to hang around my gate again I am one of those astute observers where I was reading the billboards. This one really caught my eye from Oxfam. We keep fussing on searching for the perfect gift for our loved ones that we really need to step back and see what giving back to a total stranger can have such an impact on their lives. For example, a gift of $25 and under can provide a child clean water, a mosquito net or even a meal at their school. Please check this site and refer all your family and friends that instead of accepting a gift to donate to Oxfam. This organization has been around for years and is reputable.

I sure will.

Until then...keep smiling!

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