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Neutral Territory for Christmas...aka B&Bs/hotels for a family gathering in DFW

Neutral Territory for Christmas...aka B&Bs/hotels for a family gathering in DFW

Old Aug 14th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Neutral Territory for Christmas...aka B&Bs/hotels for a family gathering in DFW

Hello, all!

This is the first time I have posted on the U.S. board as I live in Europe and spend most of my time on that board instead.

That said, I am hoping for some insight from some Texans or people who have travelled in Texas.

Here's the situation: DH and I moved from Dallas about a year ago. We now live in Prague (hence the screenname) and are expecting our first child next month. Squirt will be the first grandchild on both sides, and none of our other siblings are married. We are going home for Christmas. Very exciting, definitely, but also stressful as we are going to have to look at how we are dividing time between the families who live an hour apart. Now, I'm not asking for how to split time or which days we should spend where.

Here is my question: If we were still living in Dallas, we would be hosting a family sleepover in our home for both sides of the fam. As it stands, we need some options. I'm kind of thinking about a B&B in the metro area (maybe Waxahachie or one of the other cute towns nearby?) or something to that effect for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Then, both fams could be there if they choose, etc.

Any ideas?

The goal is not to have to wake up in either grandparents' house, so we can avoid figuring out which gps get that tremendous honor on "Baby's First Christmas."

Any assistance or suggestions would be tremendously helpful!

Thanks in advance!
--MP
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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More power to you MP!!!Congratulations! What a super exciting time for everyone!!

I know zip about Waxahachie so can't help you there...it's merely a place on the road on our way to Dallas and means only that we are finally getting close! There seems to be Little charming in that awful I-35 corridor.

Hotels, should you chose the metroplex, are hard with such a little one, but so too a B&B...in fact many have a no children rule. Few have much soundproofing and odds are, you will still be getting up in the middle of the night for feedings then.

Rather than having everyone traveling on such a meaningful holiday, and everyone ending up in an unfamiliar home for that special first morning, why not somehow pick ONE of the homes using some fair and unbiased method...draw straws, whatever, and have the other family join the gathering too. This is assuming the two families are comfortable with each other. Each family can contribute to the meal with family favorites, making it special for all of you...a bit of home for each. We would love this arrangement with one of our children's in-laws, but unfortunately with the other's in-laws it would be stressful as we are worlds apart. If that is your situation, it won't work, you'll have to split time that day...morning in one house, afternoon in the other. If they are only an hour apart, that shouldn't be too difficult to manage.

You are being so thoughtful, but I really don't think any set of parents would be that bent out of shape should their home not be "the morning" home. You've already come a tremendous distance and they all should understand the need for compromise and be grateful just that you are there!

Last Christmas was our grandchild's first. We are in San Antonio, the other parents outside Waco. The arrangement that the kids (in Dallas)came up with a few years ago was Thanksgiving at one, Christmas at the other and last Christmas happened to be "our turn". This isn't feasible for you and I only bring it up because had we not been the lucky ones last Christmas, I never would have resented their being at the other house for that first Christmas...as long as we had our time with them and the baby too. In our case, it would have been Thanksgiving. In your case it would be morning and early afternoon in one spot, later afternoon in the other, if everyone can't be together at one house. Our grandson was 5 months old hten and could have cared less where he was. He was the easy one!

I realize you specified you weren't interested in how to split time, but I wanted to run those thoughts by you none-the-less.

Another possible thought...have EVERYONE travel, but to someplace fun and romantic for a Texan at Christmas time...like Colorado. Snow...something that looks like Christmas. Get a couple of condos for a week. Might be tres cher though, CO at Christmas. Perhaps not so great an idea.

If travel that far is out of the question, what about really neutral ground in a part of Texas most everyone enjoys, such as San Antonio? Or Austin. There are several places here that have condo rentals which would be ideal with the baby. My DH works for Hyatt so I'm most familiar with Hyatt Lost Pines here, which is not part of the hotel division, but Hyatt vacation club which has condos that can be rented just as a regular hotel room...1, 2 and 3 bedroom units with kitchens and dining areas. Our family and both our kids and their spouses did this a couple of years ago at Hyatt's Vacation Club in Sedona when it was "our turn" at Thanksgiving. Our unit was a two bedroom with sleeper sofa for the 3rd couple, full kitchen, granite counters, really really nice and with a baby, the only way I'd go!

Food for thought. Best wishes to you and much happiness. You all will be the stars this Christmas...there won't be any need for more. And next year...everyone can come see you in Prague. I'm ready and you aren't even my daughter!!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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What a great attempt at a solution. I hope it works. I agree that a B&B probably won't work because of the baby. What about a suite hotel with a living room/bedroom set-up. Maybe an Embassy Suites or Residence Inn. Hilton Garden Inns are nice too.

If you have deep pockets, you good splurge for something like the Mansion at Turtle Creek.

Stick with your guns. Tell them you want to spend time with extended family but want some "special time" with your new core family.

Everyone won't like it - but they won't have too!

If the distances would work, maybe you could do lunch on Christmas Eve at one house and lunch on Christmas Day at another.

My parents had "meddlin'" parents but held firm that Christmas Eve and morning were spent "at home". We went to one grandparents' the Sunday before Christmas and the other grandparents' the Sunday after. The order was switched each year. It worked out great for us kids! We had THREE Christmases to look forward to - it really stretched out our holiday season!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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There's just one small problem (both literally and figuratively) with your idea: most B&Bs do not allow children under 12, especially infants.

After doing some web searching, I did manage to find ONE B&B that does allow children: Hemingway's Cottage at the Chaska House in Waxahachie. Here's their website: http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/texas...-cottages.html

Good luck!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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While as a business traveler I wasn;t exactly happy with all teh extra charges, the GAyloed Texan did have suites. As I recall they were very family oriented too...spa, pools, big spaces. Maybe you could call and see waht they would offer????
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 07:03 PM
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I don't have a specific suggestion for you regarding where to stay, but I wanted to agree with other posters who have suggested a condo or suite type of hotel. With a new baby, there's a very good possibility that you will still be getting up multiple times throughout the night for feedings. My son is 4 months old and he still wakes up once a night! With the baby, I think you and your husband will need a space for the baby so that you two can get some rest in another room or at least be able to watch TV, relax, etc. in the other room while the baby sleeps. Good luck with sharing yourselves with both families.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 11:48 PM
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Thanks so much for all of your help and research!

I didn't realize there was a restriction in most B&Bs on children under 12, but now that you mention it, it makes perfect sense!

I will check into the suite option as well. DH is out of town at the moment, but I am looking for some alternatives to splitting time before he returns just so we have some alternatives to look at while we create our itinerary!

You all are a great help!
Thanks!
--MP
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 04:02 AM
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You will make yourself insane for 21 years if you try to figure out what is fair for the grandparents - my husband and I have the only grandchildren (now 16 and 20) on either side of the family - trust me, I know. No matter how hard you try, someone will feel slighted and you will feel rotten.

Find yourself a comfortable "home base" for the stay - that should be your priority. Agree with above that a B&B will likely not fit that requirement. A suite, Residence Inn, etc. will. With the stress associated with travel with a 3 month old, visiting family, having a comfortable, although temporary "home" will be priceless.
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 05:30 AM
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If I'm reading this right, you're planning to pick a suite or condo type setting, and then have all of the Grandparents and siblings travel to and stay (with you or in their own seperate units?) so that they can be there with the baby on Christmas morning. You may be overrating the "Christmas morning" experience. It could be that your relatives will be happy to see you and the baby over the Christmas holiday, in the comfort of their own homes, with their Christmas trees, decorations, home made food, etc. Since they only live an hour away from each other, I would suggest spending Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with one family, then leave and spend the day and Christmas dinner with the other family. You can flip it for the next year. Your baby isn't going to know that it's Christmas this year and will have no reaction to the excitement of the morning. For the Christmas holidays I would rather be celebrating in a home than a hotel/condo (even if you choose to stay in a hotel/condo and visit the homes for the celebrations).
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 11:16 AM
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Ah, I remember when my nephew was the first grandchild. Both the first and second Christmasses were pretty disappointing to his grandmother and his mother, who had built up this idea of how his eyes would light up when he saw his electric train, etc. Of course, the kid got tired after opening so many presents, etc.

One thing to think about is how sterile hotel rooms are. We are certainly guilty of "over decorating" our house for Christmas. Last year, for family reasons that I won't go into, we ended up spending Christmas night at an Embassy Suites in Austin. It just didn't feel like Christmas.
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Oh, just a note about the Gaylord: They have a lot of special Christmas displays that draw a lot of interest from non-guests, so you would find the public areas of the hotel quite packed around Christmas.
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 03:46 PM
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What's your budget?

There are some really nice B&B right in Dallas - in Uptown area.

Hotel St Germain
http://www.hotelstgermain.com/
Maple Manor Hotel
http://maplemanorhotel.com/
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Okay, if you're springing for the St. Germain, may I come, too? I'll bring a present for the little guy.
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Old Aug 17th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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MP, I know you are trying to avoid waking up in either grandparents house but I kind of agree with KathyK that you are over rating the Christmas morning experience.

Instead of a sterile hotel room, split your time between the two houses.

Can both sets of grandparents get together?

If not, what about Christmas Eve at one house until 9PM or so and Christmas Day at the other house.

A hotel room is so sterile.
 
Old Aug 17th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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Forgot to add that let the grandparents decide which nights you stay where.
 
Old Aug 21st, 2006, 05:24 AM
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Thanks for all of your input.

My husband and I haven't really started discussing how this is all going to pan out; I just wanted some resources/options before we started to flesh out our "at-home" plan. Since this will be the only time this is an issue (that we'll be living out of the country and returning with the first and only grandchild on both sides), I am just looking at all of the possibilities.

I definitely agree that the hotel option (unless we stay someplace with just amazing atmosphere) will be sterile and lacking any homey feeling.

I do hope that I'm overestimating the "first Christmas" thing; I know it will be really important to my mom, but I'm really not sure about DH's mom. We shall see!

I really appreciate all of your help and will let you know if I need more input or options. At the moment, it looks like we will be foregoing anything neutral and just looking for the best way to split the days between the two families (like we used to when we were living in the area)!

Thanks again,
MP

Missypie: you make me laugh!
Take care all, MP
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