How do you spend your holiday breaks?

I’ve been lucky in the past few years – I get a full week off for the winter holidays this year, have had extended school breaks the last two years, and didn’t have to travel the two years before that to spend the holidays with my family. But being home in Chicago always presents me with a weird dilemma: to enjoy being home, or to take a break.

Chicago is basically my favorite, and there’s always a ton of things I want to do when I’m home. I want to get in some quality time with my family, neighbors, and friends; I want to get out and about to my favorite restaurants and bars and other destinations; I want to check in on museums and plays and culture. Trying to cram my soccer bar, deep dish pizza, Cuban food, the public library’s fantastic collections, and blood donation in to one visit can be challenging.

My other instinct on vacation is to laze. To park myself in front of the DVR with a beer and a plate of appetizers, sleep in, read, and nap. Vacation should be relaxing, right, and involve no coordination or planning? It goes against my instincts, but sometimes it’s nice to let somebody else take care of the details and just enjoy myself.

I usually manage to balance these two instincts pretty well on my visits home, and get in some TV time as well as some outdoors time. But I do often head out of the city thinking, “If only I’d had time to …”

So, how do you spend your breaks?