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Home for the Holidays – Christmas at Escapees Rainbow’s End

Home for the Holidays

Being “home for the holidays” is where my heart is content and my mind is at ease, where I can combine traditions of memorable Christmases past with new ways of celebrating the holiday season on the road as a full-time RVer.   Though spending Christmas 2017 at Escapees Rainbow’s End was unplanned (we expected to be in AZ!), our stay wholeheartedly fit my description of “home”.

We kicked off the holiday season on Thanksgiving weekend with our traditional viewing of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and decorating. 

Buying ornaments/decorations was one of my guilty pleasures during my sticks-and-bricks days. When we hit the road fulltime, I insisted on keeping “just a few things” from my vast collection. 

Decorating the RV

Although we don’t have a tree in our RV, I proudly display my ornaments on lighted garland.  

Ironically, many of the ornaments I kept are not the expensive collectibles or limited editions I amassed.

  Instead, I opted for handmade artwork from kindergarten and purchases from the Sears Christmas Wish Book my beloved parents placed on my childhood Christmas trees.  And those economical decorations Les and I purchased for our very first Christmas together as husband and wife are a source of laughter and cherished memories.  

You see, I’ve learned that sentimental value is priceless.  I’ve also learned that simple, inexpensive decorations can be just as lovely.  For example, collecting pine cones and placing them in a bowl with some cinnamon sticks is an attractive, low cost, easy-to-transport, and aromatic holiday adornment.

Decorating doesn’t end inside the rig, though.  We became a spectacle at Rainbow’s End with our RV and motorcycle outdoor inflatables!  I admit, I go a tad overboard on ornamentation, decorating everything from my stuffed toy rat, to my fish tank, to even my cat!

Food is a huge part of our holidays!

Being of Italian descent, food is a HUGE part of our holiday.  In the Italian culture, nothing expresses love, peace, and goodwill like a home-cooked meal! 

Christmas Eve consists of a traditional Seven Fishes dinner, though we have modified the types of fish from my childhood days (no stinky smelts or anchovies allowed):  halibut, salmon, crabs, clams, shrimp, mussels, and calamari. 

Our finale is watching A Christmas Carol in front of our RV’s electric fireplace.

Baking Christmas cookies is an absolute “must”, and I continue to use several of the recipes of my late Mom (I miss her terribly at the holidays—she was my official cookie taster!) 

For Christmases past, I baked 17 kinds of cookies. (Yes, my RV operation could rival that of the Keebler Elves!)  However, I make only 8 types now, which I was able to modify to meet my husband’s dietary needs.  Sharing is always part of the fun, so C.A.R.E., Escapees staff, and Park neighbors received some Christmas calories courtesy of me!

New on the road?  Not near family or friends?  Feeling down? Don’t have any plans for Christmas?

 No worries—Rainbow’s End offers holiday films on Movie Nights, organizes caroling, and hosts Christmas Dinner every year in the Activity Center, so you can partake of a delicious meal and enjoy fellowship and camaraderie in a festive atmosphere.  Rainbow’s End, like most Escapees Parks and Co-ops, is a community, an extended “family” to all of us.

Christmas in Livingston, TX - Home of Escapees RV Club

Holiday happenings are not just limited to within Rainbow’s End.  Livingston may be a very small city, but it celebrates Christmas in a big way, with fun, free activities for the whole family.

We drove through Pedigo Park’s Trail of Lights.  Like a winter wonderland (minus the snow), it featured all sorts of lighted figures, from gingerbread people, to elephants and giraffes, from the 12 Days of Christmas, to a full nativity scene.  Lighted holiday scenes can be also be found at Penguin Park and Municipal Hall.

The First Baptist Church of Livingston offered a superb re-enactment of the town of Bethlehem, from live animals, to costumed tradespeople performing their tasks, to the Three Wise Men, to the Babe in the Manger.  Festivities included a huge bonfire, hayrides, the sounds of harmonious choirs, refreshments, and fellowship.   

The Hometown Christmas Fair combined arts, crafts, food, and kid stuff (face-painting, bouncy-bounces), and culminated with the Christmas Parade at 6 p.m., complete with bands, decorative floats, clowns, classic cars, dancing dinosaurs, even Kris Kringle himself!

The Polk County Heritage Society sponsored a Christmas Train Village on North Washington Street.  Though not a huge display, it was one of the most clever and interesting ones I have ever seen.  Like a treasure hunt, the set-up included various figures hidden within the display for the spectators to find.  It took me 20 minutes to find the elusive statue of John Adams!

Spending Christmas at Rainbow’s End in Livingston in 2017 was so enjoyable, we came back for 2018!  

Author

Sue Young, SKP #117428

Sue is in her 7th year of full-time RVing with her husband Les, her cat, her two goldfish, and her beloved stuffed rat, PoPo.  She enjoys motorcycling, reading, hiking, UTV off-roading, and geocaching.  You can read about her family travel and work-camping experiences at ramblingrvrat.blogspot.com. 

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