Honey, Let’s Ditch the Kids

Over the summer Viviane Trinh, 35, received a surprising email from her parents, her mother in her late 60s and her father in his mid-70s, explaining that they wanted to skip the family’s Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations this year and take a six-week cruise from Japan to Singapore. “They asked if anyone had objections,” she said.

Ms. Trinh, who is a dentist and lives in the West Village, felt torn.

On one hand, she loves her family’s traditions. The whole gang — she and her two siblings, and their partners — gathers at her parent’s house in Stamford, Conn., where they have a huge Thanksgiving meal. The day after Thanksgiving they begin decorating the tree, and in the weeks leading up to Christmas she’ll drop by to keep helping out. Christmas Day brings another feast along with a gift exchange.

“I never thought our family traditions would change,” she said.

But Ms. Trinh also wants her parents to do what they want, especially since they are getting older. “My parents love us so much, they are always providing, and this is a chance to rekindle their own love as a couple,” she said. “People my age are making our own plans and having our own families,” she added.

This year some parents of adult children are forgoing family traditions and making their own plans, including taking dream trips. Their thinking goes: Our holidays have revolved around our children for decades; why not finally take time for ourselves?

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