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Momma’s 12 Days of Christmas Presents A Holiday Trip Survival Guide by Greta of G*Funk*ified

By Mommabethyname @MommaBeThyName

GretaGreta Funk writes at Gfunkified about the chaos of living with four little tornadoes (ages 7 to 1) in the Kansas country. She drinks too much coffee, eats too much chocolate, and takes too many pictures of her kids. Catch her on Instagram, FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest (where she mostly pins gluten-free recipes for her gluten-free household and crafts that she probably won’t ever do). 


My kids have eleven grandparents, and we average about six Christmas gatherings every year. Of course, at least four of the get-togethers are several hours away (did I mention that my kids are age 7 years to 20 months?). So, the logistics, the traveling…it all takes a toll on me (and is the reason we rarely go anywhere for Thanksgiving). I have developed a pretty good system for these long car trips with the kids, though, and because it is the Christmas season, I’m going to share it with you.

Find some car activities for the kids (and non-driving parents). This could be books, a clipboard with paper and a baggie full of crayons, handheld video games, DVDs. Anything to keep those little suckers occupied and peace inside that vehicle. Bonus points are given for NEW activities. A brand-new coloring book or toy from the dollar store is going to be much more exciting than an old one they see every day. More bonus points for an activity bag or suitcase for each child that might possibly eliminate some of the fighting. Oh, the fighting.

Bring snacks. Hundreds of them. Okay, maybe not hundreds, but as many as you can cram into a tote and/or cooler. Crackers, cookies, fruit gummies, string cheese, juice boxes. Pack as much as you have room for, so when you get home and realize that your family only ate half of them, you’ll be set for the next month of day trips and school lunches.

Bring spare clothes. Again, HUNDREDS. Okay, again, not hundreds. But at least two entire outfits for each child (and if you have room, each adult), including socks and underwear. If you pack them, you will probably not need them. I have a family chock full of car pukers, so the more prepared I am, the less likely we will be to have to pull over and peel a onesie (or twelve) off of a sick toddler and toss it in the ditch. It’s a law of nature, like washing your car so it will rain.

Toss in an accident-survival pack. I like to fill a plastic shopping bag (the more disposable, the better), with additional plastic bags, a roll of paper towels, a bottle of fabric/air freshener and an extra pack of baby wipes. Again, if you HAVE them, you will probably not NEED them. And that is better than any Christmas gift. Along with the spare clothes, this will save you in the event of car sickness, an exploded diaper, spilled juice boxes, or any other disgusting accidents that will ruin the next four and a half hours of driving for everyone if not properly taken care of.

Throw in another pack of baby wipes. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH BABY WIPES. Trust me.

All of the things I’ve mentioned are in addition to your loaded to the roof suitcases (and presents) clear in the back. They will NOT HELP you if they are NOT WITHIN REACH. I cannot stress this enough. Make sure everything I’ve listed here is accessible at all times, and you will be golden and singing Christmas carols happily for six hours. Or not.

If you all make it to your destination in one piece and clean, Congratulations! You deserve all of those Christmas gifts you’ll be hauling home. If you don’t, take a deep breath. You deserve all of those Christmas gifts you’ll be hauling home.


Greta's Holiday Trip Survival Guide

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