If you’re lucky enough to be in a climate that allows Airstreaming over the holidays, you might have a fun Christmas or New Year’s trip planned. Living in the southwest, I’ve done that many times—but I also remember very well those frigid years in the northeast when my Airstream sat immobile and frozen in the driveway.
I wish I knew back then that it can always be an Airstream Christmas. Even if it’s winterized, your Airstream stands ready to add to the fun in all sorts of ways. All you need is to warm it up a bit, and that’s easy if you have access to electrical power (either a power outlet or generator). Plug in, turn on the furnace, and choose from these ideas:
1. Christmas in the Airstream
Why not? Even in the driveway, the Airstream is a fun place to be. You don’t need to de-winterize fully, since you don’t have to use the plumbing. Bring in some holiday lights or decorations, and maybe even a little shrub or a rosemary plant trimmed to look like a tree. Put some holiday music on, bring in some snacks from the house, and be sure to wear pajamas under your coat so you can get comfy again once you’re set up in the Airstream.
2. Watch a Christmas movie in the Airstream
If you prefer to have your tea & cookies in front of a roaring fire, you can still adjourn to the Airstream for a movie later. If it’s a gray blustery day and outdoor activities look bleak, this will give you an interesting change of scene while you watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Miracle on 34th Street” (or one of the many Rankin/Bass animations from the 1960s).
It’s a bit too late for this Christmas, but for future movie nights I recommend some Aluma-POP! popcorn. It’s something fun we just came up with, and you can find it here. Keep a few bags in the Airstream for your next trip.
3. Plan a trip over Christmas breakfast in the Airstream
Sure, you may not be able to wash the dishes but you can still cook! We’ve often noticed that meals are more fun when you’re camping. I think that’s also true even when you’re just “driveway camping”.
So before or after opening presents, have a hearty breakfast in the nice warm Airstream and talk about your future travels. Bring an atlas or guidebook to pore over. The next camping season will really be something to look forward to, and it’s a great thing to fantasize about over breakfast and coffee.
4. Share the joy with friends and family
There are lots of ways to do this, even in this weird pandemic year. Set up a video call from the Airstream using Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, etc. If you’re using a laptop and the wifi from your house doesn’t reach the Airstream, you can use your mobile phone as a wifi hotspot.
Or, take a photo of yourselves with the Airstream. Wear a goofy Christmas sweater, reindeer hat, whatever you’ve got. It’ll make a great holiday card next year.
5. Decorate the Airstream
Deep snow preventing you from towing off to warmer climes? No problem when you’ve got a few magical reindeer to help!
Airstreams really look great when you deck them out. Boughs of holly, twinkling lights, and don’t forget a little mistletoe over the doorway. Get creative. You’ll make your driveway look more festive and give a few winter-weary passerby something to smile about. Fa-la-la-la-la!
6. Buy your Airstream a Christmas present
Don’t forget your beloved Airstream! Get it a gift for the next camping season, like a gorgeous patio mat, or a set of Airstream-themed drink coasters. You can find a bunch of ideas (things you’ve probably never seen before) at Globetrotter Gallery.
And if you are lucky enough to be able to hitch up and go this holiday season, I suggest an impromptu short trip. There are lots of places to go where reservations aren’t required. Check out some of the off-the-beaten path state parks, Corps of Engineer campgrounds, Bureau of Land Management sites, city and county campgrounds, and places that are off-season—they’re less likely to be full or require reservations. You’ll have much better options if you can travel on weekdays, too.
Whatever you do, or whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I think you’ll find that adding a little bit of Airstream to the mix makes everything more fun. Airstreaming can be a year-round activity if you want it to be.