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Holidays and Celebrations

Full Time Rver Supplies Easter Celebration Ideas

I’m lucky this year that I’ll be spending Easter with my family in Louisiana.
Being a mother of 7 children and 9 grandchildren I’ve always loved holidays and had to be creative when coming up with ideas that adults and children both enjoy.
We always incorporated games that all could play. We had the basic Easter egg hunt but hid eggs for the older young adults in much harder places. The easy eggs had change in them as the kids usually always had plenty of candy already. The hard hidden eggs had dollars in them and of course the Gold egg had a five dollar bill in them.
Since the older kids knew that the way hid eggs had just change they left those alone for the younger kids.

The kids loved piñata that we made the week before and stuffed goodies and candy inside.  Here’s a link to directions to an Egg piñata.

http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/2011/04/how-to-make-an-easter-egg-pinata.html

Another game that everyone played, as family groups was the Easter Scavenger hunt. .
That was always a hit. ****
Each family brought a Easter themed item. We would make up some clues and send the family’s to find the trail to the Bunny Basket!   Yes, there is only one basket, but fill it with plenty of goodies for all to share. Items needed for this include: Bunny ears, bunny hairclips, a rabbits foot, bunny jewelry, plastic eggs, a stuffed bunny and of course the big basket! As they got older, I updated the contents of the basket to include Itunes gift cards, lottery tickets, restaurant, fast food, video store, Barnes and Noble, Target and Starbucks gift cards. It is always a blast!!  I was not sure how it would be received, but it was a huge success!

Now this next game was usually the favorite game.
The game of Egg Toss is normally played at large outside gatherings. Players are recommended to wear old clothes while playing the game and may even want to bring an extra set of clothes to the party.

The group divides up into two or more teams. All teams need to be of equal size to be fair. Each team then lines up half of their players on each of two sides a corridor many feet across. Players of the same team face each other in sets of 2.

The first player of the team tosses the egg to their team member on the opposite side of the corridor. That person then hands the egg to their team member beside them who has not handled the egg yet. That player then tosses the egg to their team member opposite them on the corridor. To win the game, a team must be the fastest to get the egg from one end of their team to the other without breaking their egg.

In the event that both teams tie, each team member takes a giant step backwards, and the challenge begins again.

Another version of this game involves players passing eggs with spoons from one player to another. In this version, players each place a spoon with the handle held in the players mouth. Once the game begins, players are not allowed to use their hands or their team loses. Players pass the egg from spoon to spoon down their line of team members. It is ordered the exact same way as the version above except instead of tossing eggs to their opposite team members, they must walk or run their eggs across the corridor. Again, eggs may only be carried by the spoons in their mouths and not their hands.

The spoon version may also be played with teams lined up in straight lines. In this variation of the game, teams simply pass the egg to the next person in the line. Again, players are never allowed to touch the eggs with their hands once the game begins.

This game can be a hillarious and fun game. It does tend to be rather messy if you happen to be one of the players that accidentally drops their egg.

Some years we had an Egg Relay Race. I found a link to explain the rules of this game.
How to Have an Egg Relay Race
http://www.ehow.com/how_12812_have-egg-relay.html#ixzz2Oc6cVr7n

And usually we’d have a craft table set up with the adults taking turns helping the kids make a craft.
The following are links to a few easy crafts that you can incorporate into your celebration.

http://m.parenting.com/gallery/easy-easter-crafts-for-kids

http://www.marthastewart.com/274333/easter-kids-crafts-and-activities/@center/276968/easter

Last but not least… Food!

There’s so many good recipes out there that many enjoy but our family, being in Louisiana has a large crawfish boil. I know that’s not usual in most areas but this time of the year is our crawfish season and we love it because this is a meal that the “guys” usually cook so it’s the one holiday we don’t have to cook as much.

The following are links to crawfish boil recipes and pictures.

http://insiderbatonrouge.com/food/how-to-throw-a-louisiana-crawfish-boil/

http://www.nola.com/food/index.ssf/2011/03/post_64.html

http://youtu.be/jaYfeRDtkIs

We always serve deviled eggs and this year I found a recipe that is so cute.
They look like chicks cracking out of eggs.
Here’s the link.

http://athriftymom.com/easter-chicks-deviled-eggs-diy-simple-money-saving-recipe/

Also colored deviled eggs.

http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/breakfast/egg-breakfast/colored-deviled-eggs.html

I’m looking forward to Easter this year but the difference now is that the older children are in charge of the celebration so Grammy gets to sit back, watch and enjoy!

I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

Our First Christmas In The RV

Life In An RV Story Submitted by Ron Hart:

Some years back, my wife and I were making our final preparations to become full-time RV’rs.  Our home was in the final stages of closing and we knew it would be just a matter of weeks before the new travel trailer sitting in the driveway would become our new home, ready or not.

We had already made a couple of short “shakedown” trips to area resorts to make sure we were prepared for the big day and the approaching holidays seemed filled with things to do. I turned to my wife and said, “Instead of spending another Christmas in the house, why don’t we spend it as our first Christmas in the RV?“   It was one of those “spur-of-the-moment” decisions that would make one of the most memorable impacts on our lives.

It was just after lunch on Christmas eve when we pulled out of the driveway. We decided to stay overnight at Grayton Beach State Park (in the Florida Panhandle) about fifty miles away.  When we checked-in at the Ranger Station, we learned that the small, primitive park was completely empty. The cold front that had passed a few days earlier had discouraged campers, and though the wind was now calm, a chilly night was forecast.  The Ranger gave us a bundle of firewood and said that the gate would be closed early so the staff could go home to their families, so we would be locked-in for the night and have the place to ourselves. Not a problem I said, and we drove to a secluded space near an inland lake near the natural dunes and the beach.

That evening we dressed warmly, hiked to the top of a huge sand dune and watched a fiery sun set into the Gulf waters. Hiking back, the darkness waited just long enough so we could get back to the RV.  I opened the bundle of firewood and started our campfire.  We set-up our folding chairs and added another layer of warm clothing. We sat by the fire under a sky so full of stars we were awe-struck.  It was dead calm so the smoke went straight-up towards the heavens.  The only sounds we heard we those made by Mother Nature, and our CD player was gently playing John Denver and Jimmy Buffet’s Christmas Albums.  We huddled together and sipped some sweet wine until that bundle of wood had finally disappeared.

I call this Serendipity… the phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.  We agreed that if this was the reward for becoming full-timers, we had made the best decision of our lives and would never look back.

If you enjoyed this story and would like to vote for Ron – please leave a comment below!

(Enjoy all the other stories submitted by clicking here – you can vote on as many stories as you like, but your vote will only count once per story. Have Fun!)

Embracing Holiday Traditions On The Road

The holiday season is upon us and that means many things to many people. Whether it’s time for “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” or time to deck the halls or hit the malls… chances are, there’s a holiday tradition in your life that represents Christmas to you and your loved ones during this time of year.

So how does all of that change when you become a full- or part-time RVer?

The short answer is: It doesn’t change at all – it gets even better!

But as you hit the open road, at first glance it may seem as if maintaining your family’s traditions may need to be sacrificed in lieu of the mobile lifestyle you have embarked upon.

One of the biggest questions we always hear from people new to the full-timing lifestyle (or considering the implications of it all) is “what about the holidays?”

Indeed, it may take a little ingenuity and advanced planning, but as we maintain throughout all times of the year – there’s nothing you can’t do in a motorhome on the road that you previously did in your traditional “sticks and bricks,” home.

I am big on tradition and as a child I grew up with festive cookie exchanges between my mother and her friends, candlelight midnight mass on Christmas Eve, a fresh cut Christmas tree adorning the living room with the aroma of pine permeating the house, evening drives to look at the lights in the local neighborhoods, and holiday meals that included specific and traditional dishes representing our heritage. And throughout the years, as an adult, I’ve continued these same traditions in our own family with my husband and daughters.

But when we hit the road full-time in 2008, I knew a little creativity was in order to make sure we didn’t sacrifice all that we held dear.

For example, the 8-foot live Christmas tree was NOT fitting in the motorhome! Not to mention the prospect of carting around Christmas decorations that we only use once a year when storage space for RVers is always at a premium.

So rather than doing without – we now have two trees each year! A small fiber optic tree that sits near the dash in the front of the motorhome and a live tree outside on our campsite.

The inside tree is adorned with our special, family treasures and ornaments – the “good stuff” and breakable items that wouldn’t hold up to the elements outdoors.

And to make sure that we still have the fresh aroma of pine, I pay a visit to Bath & Bodyworks for pine scented refills for my “Wallflowers” (If you’ve never seen or used these festive plug-in fragrances, I highly suggest you check them out – they even make great gifts for fellow RVers when you are trying to find a “space sensitive” gift for that special person on your list.)

But it was also the outside tree that gave rise to a new tradition that we’ve embraced and also allows us to never lose sight of the true meaning of the holidays. 

Each year we purchase an array of decorations at the dollar store – large, colorful plastic ones that will hold up to wind and rain and yes, one year even snow in Las Vegas of all places!

This assortment is usually capped at between $50 to $100 and when it’s time to take down the tree each year, instead of toting them around, we donate the ornaments to a family in need so that they may enjoy them for the holidays to come. After 5 years on the road, we have left our ornaments with a different family each year and anytime we cross paths with them during the holidays in the future, it warms our hearts when we see our donations put to good use and enjoyed by all!

The next challenge to be solved was baking goodies and treats in a tiny RV kitchen. Not to be deterred, one year we got lucky and the campground we were staying at had a full size kitchen in the clubhouse and we booked it in advance and baked to our heart’s content.

Other years however, we’ve not been so fortunate as to have a public kitchen at our disposal, but here again, we’ve started a new tradition and combined it with the old.

No matter where you find yourself, there is likely someone nearby who is willing to “loan” you their kitchen for a day in exchange for the camaraderie and goodies that you’ll share.

Consider the person whose children are all grown, living alone and having no one to enjoy holiday baking with. How special a memory will it be for that person to enjoy your company for a day while you are baking holiday goodies and bringing a little cheer into their lives! Just another way you can not only maintain your own traditions, but make a difference in the life of someone else during the holiday season.

As to enjoying Christmas lights and drives during the season – we delight in researching whatever area we find ourselves in and finding the local treasures in each city – complete with tree lighting ceremonies that we frequently attend.

We’ve found some of the most amazing displays through the years and doing a little Internet research or a trip to the local Chamber of Commerce, quickly turns up an abundance of local holiday favorites! We’ve even volunteered on parade committees and the girls have rode floats in Christmas parades – so the options are endless!

So you see, no matter where you are, you can maintain your holiday traditions as well as build new ones when you celebrate the holidays on the road. In fact, we have found through the years that far more opportunities open up when we are mobile than those that were simply in the town where we grew up.

For example, being out West, we are frequently near Las Vegas during the season and one of our most favorite new traditions has become caroling on horseback at Sage Brush Ranch. Each year we return as they don lights on the horse saddles and lead trail rides under the stars. Led by a brightly lit carriage that play Christmas carols, even those who are not up to hopping on a horse, can enjoy this wonderful experience and ride along in the wagon.

After the ride is over, we gather around a huge bonfire where they serve hot chocolate, chili dogs and other delights. As the years have gone by, the wonderful folks at Sage Brush remember us and look forward to hearing what we’ve been up to and where we’ve traveled in the past year. Yes, they’ve become a part of our extended family and the tradition will live on! 

We’ve even attended Christmas Eve mass in the cities we’ve been staying at through the holidays as well as live Nativity displays. All are plentiful; as long as you do a little advanced planning and get to know the area where you happen to be spending the holidays.

So wherever your travels take you this holiday season, don’t hesitate to embrace the traditions you grew up with and seize the opportunity to carve out new ones along the way.

Living on the road expands all horizons and the holidays are no exception! And as you roast your chestnuts truly on an “open fire,” throw in a few sprigs of that live tree, and delight in the aroma of holidays on the road!

If you have a favorite holiday tradition that you’ve brought on the road or are planning on carrying on, please leave a comment below and share it with us all!