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How to vacation at home

Go home for a holiday. You read that right. This holiday season, go home. And stay at home. Make it a family-at-home vacation.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2012, 23:33 IST
Natasha Badhwar
Natasha Badhwar
Hindustan Times

Go home for a holiday. You read that right.This holiday season, go home. And stay at home. Make it a family-at-home vacation.

Lets admit it. Going for family holidays is hard work. It leaves the adults craving for a holiday to recover from one. This summer break the cycle and discover a new world. The secret inner world of a family at home. We have three little children, and in the early years, we did the heroic holidays too. Strollers, car seats, baby carriers, toys, books, pacifiers...the works.

Our adventures taught us that sometimes it is simpler to bring the holiday home. Stay at home, order exotic food, sleep in the afternoon, eat cake, read and be cranky with each other.

Make a list of everything you long to do. I mean small stuff, like reading comics, watching films, cycling, trying out recipes or even just writing letters. Tell everyone you’ve gone on a holiday and then sneak back home to start your own stuff.

Read aloud to the children. Make them read stories to you. Watch their films with them and let them loiter around as you watch yours. Tell them exaggerated stories from your life. Then listen to what the children will start sharing.

In summer, water is the solution to everything. Filling coolers, hosing the lawn, stocking the fridge, splashing in pools, make a game of everything. Make children walk on your legs for an instant massage. Ask them for better ideas when they insist that they are bored. They will rebel, negotiate, innovate, bargain and somewhere along the way, you will achieve the goal of a family holiday.

Home isn’t just a place to keep clean and host our guests in. It’s where we mess around, make pets of stray animals, crush on neighbours and write secret diaries. It’s the iron gate you used to swing on. The pile of bricks that were your wickets. Where you skated, learnt to hula hoop and flew kites. Home is the cool floor with a pile of comic books. Take a holiday and go back to home. Reclaim the lost universe of family. Let the spaces of home wrap themselves around you. It’s the magic formula to find the lost parts of you again.

The writer is a film-maker, columnist and mother of three children

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