Thinking Out Loud

July 29, 2011

On Christmas Letters and Vacation Blogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:18 am

I have three employees at one of my locations, none of which has taken a formal vacation this year, there are no plans for them to do, and for some of them this is just one of many years in which they have not left town for the greener pastures of vacation spots.

On the other hand, a few days ago, I read through detail after detail of one blogger’s time with the family at the Grand Canyon, a place I would love to see but may never do so.  Covet, covet, covet.

Vacation bragging is nothing new.  It’s the summer equivalent of Christmas letters.  The kids are all perfect, the weather is perfect, life is grand and we want the world to know.   The web log provides a 21st century equivalent of the older vacation brag forum: postcards.   I can’t remember the last time I got a postcard from anyone’s vacation, because with Facebook and Twitter you’re practically along for the ride.

So today’s post here is a shout-out to everyone stuck at home for the summer for reasons of the economy, health, or scheduling.  I’m actually writing this from a modest resort motel on the St. Lawrence River, but it’s a short trip that will be over by the time you read this, and if it is any consolation, I feel really guilty getting away when my employees can’t.



  1. Every year we plan a great vacation. We pour over travel brochures and linger over sights we hope to see. And we never do it. Seriously. This year marks 14 years of wedded bliss and a grand total of 2 actual family vacations, neither of which was more than four days and neither of them took us out of the country.

    My husband has a demading job and a less demanding wife. But that is just my story. You are right…there are many reasons that people can’t go away and send pictures of their feet as they lounge in a beach chair overlooking an azure sea.


    Comment by Cynthia — July 29, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    • I think a lot more people identify with your comment than identify with the Grand Canyon blog posts. I also think vacationing is very much a state of mind, and you can always opt to be tourists in your own home town. Dine at that local place you’ve never been to or catch a movie, etc.

      However, I also believe that a “demanding job” isn’t worth it without some sort of payoff. The harder the work, the harder the play. Or as Mark Buchanan would explain it in his book, The Rest of God, we don’t rest FROM our work, but rest TO the work that will follow. We rest in order to take a deep breath for the work that’s next.

      I also feel that the “demanding job” sets you up for regret later in life that there wasn’t more time for family or travel or simply stopping to smell the roses. I know that many pastors get caught up in the “If I don’t… it won’t” mentality. Then they find that their kids are grown up and they missed out on so much. Might be a good time to give another listen to “The Cat’s in the Cradle.”

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 29, 2011 @ 11:36 am

      • You are so right Paul. A Sabbath rest is more of a law of necessity than a luxury but few see it that way anymore.


        Comment by Cynthia — July 29, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

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