Time spent together – the ultimate gift! As you all know, we are down in Sanibel this week spending the holiday with my whole family.  I am sitting on the screened porch looking out at the kids on the beach with my parents and their cousins and I can’t tell you what a feeling of joy it brings me to have this precious time with everyone.  You see, this is our Christmas  gift from my parents and it is truly the best present we could ever hope for.  Our kids have plenty – clothes, electronics, “things”.  Of course there is always a Christmas list but if you asked them, I know that they would not trade this time with their family for anything in the world (even an iPhone 6).

While we were having lunch at a beachside restaurant yesterday we started talking with our teenagers about how wonderful it is to travel and how they should take advantage of it whenever possible.   Doug mentioned to our kids how he remembers his ski trip to Telluride CO of twenty years ago but doesn’t remember what he got for Christmas that year. We have been blessed with the gift of travel from my parents and my husband’s parents who all recognize the value of these unforgettable experiences. My mother in law has given each of her grandchildren a sum of money to pay for a trip of their choice.  Our oldest daughter is going to Iceland this Spring for 9 days thanks to her grandmother.  She is beyond excited.

Some of the best trips I have planned have been of the celebratory nature.  Folks who chose to give the gift of experience over material objects.  A few years ago, a couple chose to commemorate their 25th wedding anniversary by renting a villa in Tuscany and inviting 8 friends to join them for a week.  They toured the region and had a celebratory dinner in a 12th century monastery.  This past summer I had two clients who were both celebrating their 50th birthdays this year they decided not to buy material gifts but rather spend 8 days in Venice and the Veneto, taking cooking classes, wine tasting, biking and even standup paddle boarding in the canals of Venice.  What a way to welcome in the next fifty years!  Last spring I planned a graduation trip to Rome, Florence and Venice for a young high school girl, given to her by her grandparents.  The beauty of it was that it was an incredible gift for her AND for them as they shared this experience together.

Are you or someone you love celebrating a milestone in 2015?  Why not consider a trip to Italy as a gift they will cherish and remember for years to come? Be it a large family reunion, a group of wonderful friends or a romantic trip for two, the gift of travel exemplifies giving, and more importantly allows you to share the joy that it brings to your loved ones. Believe it or not, it is not too early to plan for 2015 or even 2016. Contact me and we can start working on the gift of a lifetime.

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