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A tribute to Christmas Vacation Dad

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
What follows is based from observations I have made so far on Christmas week when the kids are off from school and Mom and Dad have decided to take some vacation time.

We have all seen this fine gentleman.

· He is usually a professional person in his mid to late 30’s.
· Pulls up in a mini-van of SUV with his young family.
· Gets to the mountain between 9:30-10:00 because the family can’t get it together any earlier.
· He always gets a bad parking spot because of the time.
· His wife is in a bitchy mood cause she really doesn’t want to be there.
· One kid is whining, one is acting up, and one needs constant direction.
· Our hero (and he is one) now starts to unload the vehicle. Examples: 10-year-old equipment, cloths for everyone, maybe a cooler, various bags, and the rest of the family is of no real help.
· Through the parking lot the group goes headed for the next part of their adventure.
· Now they must find a spot in a crowded lodge to keep their stuff. Sometimes Dad’s Mom or Mom In Law will come along to hold a table and orchestrate the kid’s day from this command post.
· If they don’t have equipment it’s time to stand in line to rent. If skiing where the after life then renting gear with kids on a crowded day would be Hell.
· Then it’s time to get lift tickets, another line.
· Put the kids in lessons and get them there? Yet more lines and time consumed.
· No matter the variables like lessons, rentals, ticket packages, food and drink this guy is laying out serious $ for this one day family excursion.

Just to watch this ordeal unwind is exhausting; to go throw it is beyond my comprehension. I ask myself, how in the name of God can this be fun for this guy? Why is he volunteering to put himself through this for is unappreciative family? Then it hits me and this guy becomes my hero.

Back before kids, when his wife was his girlfriend this guy was a skier and this is the only way he can come close in this stage of his life. Maybe after he takes care of the needs and wants of his family he might actually get to take a run or two for himself and briefly feel the exhilaration he once did in days gone by.

He’d like to get out more now but his wife lives by the motto, “I work all week too, why do I have to get everything done on the weekends and take care of the kids by myself while you’re out with your friends having fun skiing, bitch, bitch, bitch, blah, blah, blah.” So Christmas Vacation Dad’s weekends revolve around doing chores around the house and transporting the kids to their activities.

Whenever I see this guy I try to help him out in some small way. Pick up something he dropped, point him in the right direction, hold the door, help him carry and rack his gear, anything I can.

Christmas Vacation Dad suffers for the sport he loves and richly deserves our respect. I salute and admire his resolve.
post #2 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by highpeaksdrifter
...Whenever I see this guy I try to help him out in some small way. Pick up something he dropped, point him in the right direction, hold the door, help him carry and rack his gear, anything I can.
Let me know if you ever run for office. You can have my vote.
post #3 of 39
Guys like Christmas Vacation Dad chose poorly when they picked their spouses.

I know lots of moms, including myself, who love to ski and participate in other outdoor sports. My spouse and I share the load on family outings.
Not all women are like the one described in this post.
post #4 of 39
All of the above , yet some would label this guy and his family as "gapers", and assume that they are worth nothing more than to be used as slalom gates.:
post #5 of 39
It is such a crumby joke, that all americans must be on "holiday" at this time, so they scramble and tussle together, at the airports, at the ski hills, and the restaurants, on the roads.
And next week, the places where they all fought and tussled, will be deserted.

What a rotten, cruel joke.
post #6 of 39
My dad was a Christmas vacation dad, but we were lucky in that Mom loved to be outside with us too. We didn't ski but we did this routine for ice skating and tobogganing. The 3 of us kids were in various stages of, er, cooperation, and of course this was before mini-vans were invented.

Today at Loveland I think I saw Christmas Vacation Mom...schlepping armloads of equipment, children running amuck, Grandma or Grandma-in-law bringing up the rear. Not sure where CV Dad was, but everyone was smiling and squealing with delight. I retrieved some stray mittens for them and got smiles and "thank you, ma'am" in return. It was the warmest part of a very blustery but good day.

CV Moms and Dads: I salute you all!
post #7 of 39
well written!
post #8 of 39
It's not without rewards though!

See http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=34298

Remember, the ghost of Christmas future? In 2 yrs, Mom will sleep late in the condo, the kids will lug their own gear, and they'll make first chair.
post #9 of 39
I saw all of the above a season or two ago, only it was one dad & 2 kids (no mom in sight). Just after they unloaded the minivan the youngest (around 4) walked over to a puddle that was about 6" deep & proceeded to jump up & down until he fell on his back. He was just about submerged head to toe....End of day, as they started to reload the minivan.

Ever since that event, I threaten my 5 year old with a loss of his favorite toy if he even goes near a puddle. I bring extra clothes, but who brings a whole extra ski outfit.
post #10 of 39
Oh my God. The story of my life revealed in one GREAT post!
Running thru your bullets:
-15 yrs older now, but was about mid-30s when I took my firstborn skiing.
-Have owned minivans since early '90s, much better ski trip vehicle than the station wagon they replaced.
-Last time I caught a lift at startin' time was about 1985, actually I've come close lately now that youngest is 12 yrs old.
-Learned my lesson and do a big unload first before heading to outer reaches of parking lot.
-Wife not a hard core skier, but is a strong candidate for sainthood and often accompanies me on the ski crusades.
-Have 4 kids, surpassing this bullet by one. After mounting a lengthy, but successful effort to hit the ski hill my worst fear was for one or two of the little troupers to ask to go to the potty half way up first chairlift ride.
-As the older ones got bigger and skiing got in their blood they were pretty helpful, but some of the gear they used was older than they were.
-Learned to love little ski areas with close by parking. You don't mention the joy of mass car sickness induced by winding mtn roads. After that a big old muddy ski area parking lot is a most welcome sight.
-Yes, we often staked out a family spot in the lodge and sometimes my folks came along. Still often brown bag-it these days. Have even brought a slow cooker full of stew a few sometimes for lunch. I have great memories of a window of 5 precious years when my dad skied with many of his grandchildren.
-Never rented much for my own kids, quickly got into ski swap gear instead. But still occasionally get indirectly involved in the rental mess when my kids bring friends along.
-Lift tickets - usually an engaging process as I try to cash in a coupon or some other discount.
-The instructors on Epic aren't going to like this, but very few lessons ever procured. Instead, I spent lots of my own ski time teaching the kids on the slope.
-Total outlay; thank goodness for night skiing, spring discounts, free skiing for under age 6, etc. If he's persistent, most "ski vacation dads" will get creative to help reduce the financial aspects.

As to your WHY: you are close. I usually did get to sneak in a few runs for myself in the early years, often when the rest of the family was eating lunch or taking a warm-up break. But if you've made the commitment to be a parent in the first place it gets rather obviously ridiculous to leave the kids behind while you go out skiing solo all day. The real WHY comes when the kids get past about age 8 and go from being ski burdens to ski buddies. Now, they have essentially replaced my aging contemporaries who have dropped out of the sport. My years of toil have resulted in a new crew who share my passion for snowriding.
post #11 of 39

How True!!

I had to laugh regarding this post!!

I just got back from a 2 day trip with my 9 year old. She doesn't carry her stuff, she doesn't get dressed by herself, and we took my wife and mother along to guard out spot in the lodge! My daughter and I have the greatest time though and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
post #12 of 39
Great story. You'll get my vote too.

Why did I do it?

How about dropping the kids at the top of the hill (COP in Calgary) then driving down to find a parking spot, getting myself geared up, then going out on the hill to find them (there were two, and this went on for a few years).

Can't find them right away, then, when I'm riding up the lift, two little rockets go by, singing at the top of their voices, and laughing so hard the whole hill could just about hear them. The other adults riding the lift smile, and comment on what a great time they seem to be having.

Or, two years ago at Big White, racing down the hill, wanting to pull up and watch my son come down behind me, so I can admire his technique. Only problem is, he pulls up ten feet behind me, about a half second behind. He had been skiing my tracks, just so I couldn't do that. (There's a little bit of the rebel in him.)

Mom saw it all, and said he did just fine!

By the way, my kids have carried their own skis since they were four. Just part of the drill. The wife and I generally carried everything else, but it got them in the habit. Get them a little shoulder strap, and they can do it just fine.
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj
-Wife not a hard core skier, but is a strong candidate for sainthood and often accompanies me on the ski crusades. I have great memories of a window of 5 precious years when my dad skied with many of his grandchildren. The real WHY comes when the kids get past about age 8 and go from being ski burdens to ski buddies. Now, they have essentially replaced my aging contemporaries who have dropped out of the sport. My years of toil have resulted in a new crew who share my passion for snowriding.
You, sir, and your wife, will get my vote!
post #14 of 39
I'm scared this will be my future before too long.
post #15 of 39
Highpeaksdrifter,

Thanks for the help. Been there, done that, but only 1 kid so not as much crap to carry. Wife no longer skis so it's just me and the kid now 12. I put in my time and now I get to ski again. Let me tell you there's many a Christmas Vacation dad out there envying those who have the freedom to ski at will . Keep yourself in shape there dads, your turn will come again.
post #16 of 39

CV Dad

I have been taking my kids (9 & 12) skiing since they were four and can relate to just about everything in the first post (except the bitchy wife.) One thing I do to save $$ is to go on our trip after Christmas vacation when the slopes empty and the prices drop. The kids have to miss school, but I figure its worth it in the long run - pun intended.
post #17 of 39
Boy, am I glad we bought a ski condo while I was pregnant! I left the baby home with her daddy for the first two seasons, then when it was time for her to learn to ski, dad schlepped her stuff over to the hill where I took over. AM was for me, PM for my daughter, leading to satisfaction for all. No ski TRIPS until she was seven and able to get her own stuff through an airport (well, I did have to help a bit there...)

Having read about CVD, I am glad we skipped that scenario.
post #18 of 39
From the woman's perspective:

I work all week and then come home to work more.

Dinner is expected on the table at a certain time each night.

I have to do the laundry on the weekend because I get home at 5:30 each night, make dinner, get the kids bathed and in bed and have to answer to "his" demands until bed.

No one picks up after themself, that's my job, I'm the mother.

"Johnny and Susie" need rides to practices and club meetings, dad is watching the news so I have to take them. He's fallen asleep in the recliner, I have to pick them up.

God, I wish that I could get a new skis or boots, these are the same ones I had in High School 15+ years ago, but the kids need stuff...besides, he tells me...you only ski once or twice a year. MAYBE if I had nice shaped skis and new boots like him I'd ski more.

I wanted to get family passes to the local mountain, but he wanted a new snowblower (his is 5 years old and used a handful of times). He said we can make that 3 hour drive to "XYZ" Mountain a few times this winter. He's in a corporate race club and goes once a week anyway and the kids go with the school once a week too. WHAT ABOUT ME?????

I had to get up at 4 am to make lunch and pack it in that stupid cooler.

I had to get all the kids up and ready to go.

I had to sit in the back seat with the kids on the way here so his "mommy" could come. He says it's to watch the kids, but she tells them..."Ask your mother" anyway and sends the to wait by the lift for me.

I'd like to go to that local place so we didn't have to pack for a week (for one day), that way we could turn the kids loose and we could ski, I mean, I could ski too.

Hey, I may not make a million dollars a year either, but my money helps to pay for these trips too.

Sure, you go to get the rentals for the kids and stand in a couple lines, but I have to deal with YOUR MOTHER! No, this tables, too drafty. No, this one is too close to the trash. Gee, it's cold here, let's try that one. Oh, now I can't look out the windows... I'll gladly trade!
post #19 of 39
That doesn't sound like a equal partnership.:
post #20 of 39
Yeah, to me that's not the "woman's perspective", it's the maid's perspective. Even the maid gets days off. You need to do some contract negotiations.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Yeah, to me that's not the "woman's perspective", it's the maid's perspective. Even the maid gets days off. You need to do some contract negotiations.
Sad to say, that if I had skiied when I was still married and my kids were still little, that would have been MY perspective as well. Some of us women get labeled as the "Bitchy wife" because it becomes our job to support everyone else's fun and have none of our own, and hold down a full-time job too.

I can remember (again pre-divorce when the kids were small) family "vacations" to the beach that were anything BUT for mom. My ex packed for himself (barely), and I packed for the other FOUR of us. I also organized all the food for the week, packed the cooler, made sure the kids had entertainment for the car, brought the playpen and extra diapers and on and on and on. My ex loaded stuff in the car (sometimes) and that was about it. Once at the beach I did all the feeding, clothing, bathing, sunscreening, pottying, diapering, bed-making, meal prep, yadda yadda. My ex played in the surf w/ the oldest child or went mini-golfing with him while I stayed back because the baby was napping.

Family Camping trips were the same way. I love to camp - but not with toddlers.

There's more, but you get the idea....

I have alot of empathy for the "bitchy wife".
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky
Yeah, to me that's not the "woman's perspective", it's the maid's perspective. Even the maid gets days off. You need to do some contract negotiations.
Contract negotiations my arse. You need to stage a walkout: . I'm going to show my wife your post and she'll never complain again.
post #23 of 39
I know this guy, I am now this guy with exception to only having one child.

I made my xmas ski vacation easy this year and chose Panorama as my destination in a building right on the slope.

Woo hoo easy street for pops. Mom and child sleep in have a nice relaxing morning. Pops comes in at 11 am and strips off fast for the hot tub. We all enjoy a nice hot tub and then back to the room for a quick lunch and then a two hour outing with the wife and child for skiing. By 2 oclock wife and child are ready for a break and another hot tub leaving pops 2 or more hours left to freeski happily. Ending with another family hot tub and then a nice dinner and a evening resort stroll taking in the festivities. Repeat 7 times and throw in a best buddy to ski with for last two days on 4000 ft of Purcell mountain vertical, no lift lines to speak of.

Throw in xmas morning watching the hill come alive as you unwrap presents and watch you child bask in the glory that Santa (who she got to spend 20 minutes with the day before in the village common) did find her and did bring all the things she asked for in front a fire place and you have ultimate ski family vacation destionation.

Kids and easy runs and lifts are litterly 50 steps from your room, ski lockers for safety and convienience, magic carpet, handle tow and a pomel tow are right together and right there.

No driving, only one gear and baggage hauling in and on out. Underground secure heated parkade to put some gear into the truck the night before day of departure to allow a last morning ski.

Dads of the world make you life easy, check this place out.

http://www.panoramaresort.com/accomm...um/springs.htm

Edit: after reading some of the posts I have to say, I am the one who packs everthing. I am the one who plans the whole deal, carries ALL the bags, and looks after all the details. Leaving my lovely wife to simply enjoy the trip with no worries. She isn't a skier but did ski this time to share the fun with my skiing daughter. When no skiing my daughter had a great time hanging with mom and taking walks and trips around the vast village.
post #24 of 39
Tomorrows forecast: low fifties, rain, and possibility of thunder showers. I'll be no Christmas Vacation Dad this year.
post #25 of 39
I just moved to Colorado before kids...

We've taken it easy introducing the kids to skiing. While Terry likes skiing, I am a little... ahem... passionate about it. I didn't want to force it on the kids, so we let them decide when they were ready for more. Each of them was on skis at 3 or 4 years old, but the girls didn't really pick it up until last year (10 and 8). Gabe, however, is already rabid--at 4.

Because we live in Colorado, I take turns with them, going up with the girls for a day, taking Gabe up for the day, or going up as a family. I get my days with the guys and/or guiding to keep me more than grateful for plenty of snow time.

CVD and CVM have my deepest respect. And gratitude for introducing new fanatics to the sport.
post #26 of 39
My wife and I have shared the duties in bringing up junior. We did traine her parents though. We got them in lessons, helped them buy equipement and now they own a ski house in VT for us to crach at. Invest and nuture skiers of all ages and it will come back 10 fold.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marmot mb
Edit: after reading some of the posts I have to say, I am the one who packs everthing. I am the one who plans the whole deal, carries ALL the bags, and looks after all the details. Leaving my lovely wife to simply enjoy the trip with no worries. She isn't a skier but did ski this time to share the fun with my skiing daughter. When no skiing my daughter had a great time hanging with mom and taking walks and trips around the vast village.
Wow! Do you have a brother?
post #28 of 39
I do have to say that I had a great time when I took my girls skiing for the first time the other week, though it was DEFINITELY a bigger deal than when I just pick up and go by myself when the kids are at their dad's house.

I have heretofore always just geared up in the car. But this was not going to work for all of us - especially for their first time. So we had the big purple duffle full of helmets and fleeces and gloves and mom's boots and skis and poles to haul to the lodge. Maggie carried my poles, I had my skis and one end of the BPD and Molly had the other end of it. Life is much better now that they are old enough to help pack and carry!
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by FRAU
Wow! Do you have a brother?
Ha ha ha ha yes but he is carting his whole family off to Rhowanda to build a church and school for a year. Sold everthing they owned to do it. Still interested?
post #30 of 39
I am early 40s, professional job, mini-van, 3 kids and dog. We do a family ski trip every year. All girls, now ages 13, 8 and 5, but even the youngest has been on skis since 3.

My bride skis, but is not avid regarding the sport. She does her share, and then some.

There is alot of schelleping gear involved and looking after others. But, when your 13 year old can ski anything with you, all the shelleping makes sense. Plus the little ones love it.

I manage to get a 4 day trip away with the boys each year. As for the rest, its why you become a parent. At 42 I am being to realize, its not all about me. Plus, while the smaller kids are in ski school, we get a few hours of good skiing in each day.

Luvvvin it
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