No Home for the Holidays
Happy Holidays!

Selling the nest and becoming GypsyNesters has given our adult chicks the joy of being hosts for the holidays in their homes.

Once again this year we will be making our way to The Big Apple for the holidays. Oh, the anticipation! The joy!

Christmas is the one time we allow ourselves to hands-down spoil our kids -- and, boy, do we ever! As thrifty as we are during the non-Jesus-being-born part of the year, we let loose the coffers when we visit The Spawn during that "most wonderful time of the year."

It's not about expensive gifts - instead we enjoy spending foolish amounts of money going out on the town. Generally our time is spent chasing our black-wearing, taxi-flagging, fast-walking, subway-chasing, urbanite offspring, The Piglet and Decibel, around New York City - from ethnic restaurant, to Broadway show, to our favorite piano bar where aging bejeweled starlet-types show off the old vocal chords.

It's a very civilized, blister-inducing, whale of a good time.

The REAL Santa Claus at Macy's on 34th Street

NYC is freaking magical during the holiday season. They really know how to deck them halls.

We go into full tourist mode and hit all of the famous holiday hot spots, the bigger than expected Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the surprisingly itsy-bitsy skating rink at the bottom of it, the lights along Fifth Avenue, and the Macy’s on 34th Street with the enchanting window displays and most perfect Santa ever. He's the real one, we've seen proof of it in a movie.

As crazy as NYC can be throughout the Season with a Reason, we do slow down on the big day.

A huge meal is prepared in The Piglet's teeny studio apartment. The miniature tree sparkles, and the hide-a-bed is festively extended for extra seating.

Our cheeks are nice and rosy, as The Piglet's landlord likes it stupid hot, so we usually need to crack a window. Christmas tunes are played on an iPod while the fireplace channel crackles on the TV.

This is quite a departure from the Christmases we celebrated when the chicks were still nest-bound, but I have to say, it is MUCH easier on me, stress-wise.

I no longer have to find forgot-where-I-hid-them presents, then hurriedly wrap them while barricaded in a closet with a flashlight in my teeth and covered in packing tape.

There is no racing from Christmas pageant, to holiday recital, to endless Nutcracker rehearsals. Gone is the setting up of the fake tree (real ones always ended up making us sad when they turned brown) and the untangling of the strings of lights.

These days, we pick up gifts from different parts of the world as we travel about -- instead of the mad mall rush of days of yore.

The best part of our new "empty" nest Christmas is the excitement on The Spawn's faces as they give gifts to one another. The love they share and the happiness they want to give each other is what makes "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year", well, the most wonderful time of the year.

I couldn't care less about presents, just give me that.

Oh, and world peace. And a bell for my bicycle. And… please consider a donation to our favorite charity, Habitat for Humanity, to help those truly homeless.


YOUR turn: How have the holidays changed for you over the years? Have you any new traditions you'd like to share?

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