Every year during the winter season from middle school to college, it was a tradition in my family to travel to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to celebrate Christmas. I have a lot of good memories in the Upper Peninsula during the holiday season that range from playing outside in the piles of snow to bundling up with blankets and hot chocolate each night around the TV to watch holiday movies. We have two family favorites that we always have to watch together: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story.
Through the many years of traveling to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan during the winter season, I feel like I can relate a lot to the characters Ralphie and Randy in the movie A Christmas Story and to the funny family stories in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
Every year during the winter season in the Upper Peninsula, it would be absolutely freezing with multiple feet of snow on the ground and huge icicles hanging from our cabin roof. Our mom would remind us every time before we would go outside to watch out and stay away from the icicles because, if they would fall, they could kill us, just like how everyone would tell Ralphie that the B.B. gun could poke an eye out. One year, my sister Kerrie’s eye was almost poked out, not by an icicle, but by a pick ax we were using to build a snow tunnel. Needless to say, we never use the pick ax anymore to build snow forts.
We would dress up just like Randy, all bundled up to where we could barely move just to stay warm during the cold. We always would laugh at each other as we put on our huge snow suits and tried to run around in our outfits. We were always happy we bundled up though as soon as we stepped outside. Especially when we were out on the frozen lake ice fishing where there were no trees to block the wind.
Every year, we would also try to make a ginormous snowman. Each year we would try to make a snowman taller than the last.
We would also have a sledding contest to see who could go the furthest each year. Our cabin is on top of a huge hill, so we were always able to go fast and far. We sometimes would make it all the way to sledding on top of the frozen lake! This is where I always was reminded of the sledding scene in Christmas Vacation.
Just like in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, my siblings, my dad and I every year would go hiking all through the woods in the Upper Peninsula in search of the perfect Christmas tree. We would walk for hours trying to find the right one. Last year, we actually got lost in the woods looking for the perfect tree and it took us almost until dark to finally find our way home. Our dad even made the dumb suggestion of all of us splitting up to look for the way out. We all yelled at him saying that is how people die, especially in scary movies.
After a long day of playing outside in the cold, it was always a relief to get inside and relax under a warm blanket with my family and watch our favorite Christmas movies together.
Do you and your family need a place to travel to this holiday season? Create your own family winter story by traveling to the original A Christmas Story house! This year, the Red Roof Inn Cleveland locations are offering a special ‘Ralphie Rate Package‘ which includes:
- A rate of $99.99
- A choice of room types at one of four Cleveland Red Roof locations
- 2 Admission tickets to A Christmas Story House and Museum
- Exclusive 15% discount in the gift shop
- Free appetizer at Bac Chinese Restaurant
- And a special keepsake from your visit
For more information, click here!
Safe travels during the winter months!