“Those Aren’t Pillows”: Holiday Traveling

25 Nov

Planes, trains, and automobiles. Hotels, fold-out couches, and old childhood bedrooms. The packing. The traffic. The forgetting of really really important things. And the preparation for questions about just what exactly it is you’re doing with your life. Home is where the heart is but getting back there is a pain in the ass. Did I just make that up? Well, color me Dorothy Parker!

Anyone who finds themselves muttering, “Six bucks and my right nut says we’re not landing in Chicago” or “We’d have more luck playing pick-up sticks with our butt cheeks than getting a flight out of here” knows the pain of holiday travel. That’s why this year, I’m going to make things a little easier on my loved ones far away by sending along homemade packing checklists and mixed CDs. It may not make the flight less expensive or the trucker that’s riding their ass less ass-riderly, but I’m hoping that after some stress free packing and holiday tune jamming, they’ll be a bit more jolly by the time they make it to me. I don’t put up with party poopers.

First things first, packing lists. Keepandshare.com has a nifty one that’s free and printable. I think it’s a little excessive (calculator?) but I dig their toiletries list (diarrhea meds AND a laxative, cover both bases). Martha, surprisingly, doesn’t have a packing list but does have tips on how to efficiently pack whatever it is you’re taking with you. My plan is to combine the lists I see into a customizable lists for the different people I know, that way I can include special items they need to pack like “multiple gifts for Annie” or “liquor”.


For the music, I suggest a mix of holiday songs, non-holiday songs and even audiobook excerpts or radio interviews that you can download and put on CDs. I listen to David Sedaris every year when I’m driving home. His Christmas stories are the best. Try the Live at Carnegie Hall CD for his interpretation of how the Dutch celebrate Christmas or Holidays On Ice which includes “The Santaland Diaries”, his account of the season he worked as a Macy’s elf. Year after year, I almost pee my pants or slide off of the road laughing at David’s (and I’m stealing this next word from his other reviews) droll delivery of all his dysfunctional holiday antics. Whew! Okay, enough Sedaris-love for one post. My point is, keep the track list interesting. They call it a mix for a reason. If your road-trippers wanted to hear Feliz Navidad followed by I’ll Be Home for Christmas followed by the barking dog Jingle Bells, they could turn on the radio. Give them something surprising. Think upbeat enough so they don’t fall asleep at the wheel but mellow enough so they don’t spaz out and ram the Honda in front of them.

I got really into decorating the mixed CDs with old book and magazine pages, leftover wrapping paper, and some postcards I had lying around. Here’s what I came up with:

Anybody with Restless Legs Syndrome (let me hear you say ohhh!) has felt like saying this at some point during their journey to Grandmother’s House.

This is our family motto. “We’re going to have fun, dammit.” Best said through clenched teeth right before you slam a plate of ham in front of someone.

I made this one because I like the idea of family waiting at the door for me…so I’ll probably keep it for myself.

I chose to add the dried helicopter leave to this selection of smooth male vocals because I wanted everything in the collage to be sepia-toned, but then I realized how genius it is because it looks like a mustache! Perfect for Man Music.

This mix is called “All My Ladies If You Feel Me”. Unfortunately, there is no Beyonce included in this one. Not that I don’t think you’re classy B. It’s just hard to find a transition between you, Bette Midler, and Joni Mitchell. Next time, promise.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Next thing on the list is bundling these little babies up and shipping them to the family members I know are most likely to commit a road rage crime or threaten people taking up too much space on the plane. Old lady hogging the arm rest? You can thank me later.

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One Response to ““Those Aren’t Pillows”: Holiday Traveling”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Summer Fun for a Song (and by song I mean movie title) « Thriftfulness - August 26, 2010

    […] mixed CD, tailor made for summer nights spent sitting on your porch […]

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