I know over the next couple weeks and months I will probably post multiple times about how to earn X times points (or hopefully XX times points) when buying presents for the holidays.  In fact, that has already started for my family thanks to the Sears 21x deal that ended yesterdayThough for the next couple days you can get in on a similar 12x Sears deal via AAdvantage that will also stack with the 5x Freedom 4th quarter bonus for a potential total of 17x.  Maximizing earning miles for purchases you were going to make anyway is the name of my game, so I will happily share many ways you can do that while helping Santa get his gifts from the North Pole to your house.

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However, those gifts, while they might be cool, are not the best ones you can get your family members.

The best gift you can give your family for the holidays is the gift of being together.  I know it sounds painfully corny, and trust me I’m really not the world’s warmest and fuzziest person, but I do believe this to be true.  When families are spread apart it may be easier to send a good book, or cozy blanket, or ill-fitting-sweater as a gift through the mail for the holidays, but if you want to send the best present you can buy, then buy a plane ticket to visit them.  Or, buy them a plane ticket to come and visit you.

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C having story time with Grandma and cousins

We have done this the last several years for my husband’s parents who live in another state, and thanks to the current Southwest sale (that other airlines are matching), we were able to do it again this year.  This year, just like in previous years, we have taken advantage of a sale that often happens around this time to buy them tickets to come visit us after the holidays in early February.  We don’t like to go longer than a few months between visits, so this allows us to fly to see them in November, and then them to fly down to see Little C a few months later without it being a burden on their pocketbook.  Sometimes we use miles and points to make this happen, but this time we took advantage of the $200ish dollars it was for a non-stop flight on United for their Christmas presents.

If you are in a similar situation with family spread around the country, consider getting your family the best present you can buy, time together.  Perhaps you can do as we did and take advantage of the current sale that ends tonight, or perhaps you have some miles/points you can use to make it happen.  When I told Little C what we bought Grandma and Grandpa for Christmas she got so excited!  Now if only I could earn the miles from their trip into a “family account” a la JetBlue Family Pool style.  

Anyone else give the gift of being together for the holidays?

Posted by mommypoints | 5 Comments

5 Responses to “The Best Holiday Present You Can Buy”

  1. Sharon says:

    I wish I could take advantage of the cheap fare but we almost never able to due to both work and school schedule. Both sets of my kids’ grandparents live away from us (one set on east coast, the other in China!) and they all refuse to fly!!! So we have to bring our three kids to them. Our travel is limited to the peak times — two week holiday break or three weeks in June, fare is never cheap so I have to plan a year in advance if I were to buy five tickets.

    In addition to spend time with the grandparents, aunt and uncles, I always plan family-alone time just for the five of us. Last Christmas we spent five days in Key West after visiting grandparents for 10 days. This Christmas, we will visit grandparents in China for 12 days and then head to Hong Kong and Shanghai for another week. Thanks to miles and points, we will be flying first or business class. More than ever, everyone is really looking forward to this Christmas! ;-) Next summer, we will visit aunts and uncles in New Jersey, but we will visit Phily & DC after that.

  2. Mommy Points says:

    Sharon, what a bummer that neither set of grandparents will travel. That is the perfect way to take advantage of these “off season” discount fares without missing school! Sounds like you have a fantastic system in place – thanks for sharing!

  3. Kayla says:

    I love to read all of your posts, but the fact that you wrote this post made me love and want to support you even more! It is easy to get caught up in the miles/points game and start thinking about those major vacations, but the fact that we can use them to connect with our loved ones when it may not normally fit into the budget is wonderful!

  4. mommypoints says:

    Kayla, you are so right that it is easy to get caught up in saving for the “big trips”. Those are awesome and amazing, but I totally agree with you that using deals/miles/points/etc to connect with loved ones is really wonderful! Thanks for your support.

  5. Carole says:

    lovely post! Thank you for all the opportunities
    , … this grandma is so grateful for family times, and keeps everyone close to her heart when we are far away.

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