We decided to surprise my parents and bring all of us together for the holidays last year. This took some planning because there are four of us, and our schedules were so different, getting off time from our various jobs was tricky. The one thing we knew we wanted to do was show up en masse, kids en tow. Our parents married on Christmas Day right after my Dad came home from Viet Nam in 1971. We came along in short order over the next six years. If we pulled off the surprise, it would be the first time we’d be together in 5 years. For some reason or another, one brother or sister was always away on that day. Jill was an emergency room intern and had no seniority, and Amber was a field producer at a television station out west in California. Like Dad, our brother had made a career serving in the Army. Since I lived the closest, the arrangements largely fell to me, the baby sister. The first thing I did was search Groupon for an Extended Stay America hotel property in the area. I always search Groupon first, whenever I need something, so I can take advantage of their great deals. I’ve saved a lot of money this way. Once I reserved the suite, we started dropping hints about the big surprise to come.
When the time came to pick up my sisters from the airport on Christmas Eve, I didn’t have to go far, because I rented a suite near the airport and got a great deal on the rental. Using a Groupon allowed me to save 40% off the rental, and the suite was well appointed. Right away, my sister set up her computer, connected to the free WIFI in the room – not the hallway like some properties – and checked on one of the stories she was researching. My three nieces and one nephew found the game channel and before long had settled in. We skyped with my brother who was renting the van, and soon had everything set. I started making us something to eat and had nearly finished the pasta and that’s when my water broke!
So long story short, not only did we give our parents the best gift ever for their 45th anniversary – I game them one more grandchild to love.