Christmas eve, the bags were packed. Presents were all wrapped and tucked in a bag under the tree ready to depart in the morning for a Christmas vacation that was already shaping up to be one of the most memorable vacations in a very long time. Come Christmas morning, my mother and I embarked on our journey north to Killington Resort in nearby Killington, VT.

We planned a Christmas unlike any other. Earlier on Christmas eve, I called a quaint little place just down the road from the resort called the Killington-Pico Motor Inn. It was nothing fancy, rather a charming little place to stay for the evening that was without a doubt Killington’s best kept secret. When we arrived, we were welcomed by a hospitable couple that owned the inn. The most charming part of the inn was the lodge, a rather warm wooden room that was lit up with the aroma of a crackling fireplace and a fresh cut Christmas tree. It was in this room where we decided to have our Christmas as we exchanged gifts watching the gentle falling snow outside adding up to what was already on the ground.

As we exchanged gifts, we lit the lodge up with laughter and joy, but one gift in particular brought a different kind of joy. I take a variety of pictures, and this Christmas I decided to make a collage of pictures of my mother and I and the places we visited. It brought tears to my mothers eyes. She was left speechless. I knew this would be the perfect Christmas gift, better than any store bought gift by far. It was a gift directly from the heart.

As we sat by the fire continuing to watch the snow fall and share stories of Christmas past, we noticed it was time for dinner, but where to go? Not much would be open noting it was Christmas night. We decided to head over to downtown Killington, where plenty of places remained open as the resort was catering to all of the Christmas guests like ourselves.

We stopped in at one of our favorite restaurants called The Grist Mill. A delightful, yet, idyllic place that was warm on the inside as the outside was surrounded by snow. We chose a table near the fireplace where we instantly escaped the bitter cold from the outdoors. We’ve been here many times, but for some reason this time just felt different. We were together. Mother and son, enjoying a delightful Christmas dinner while enjoying a night in snow covered mountains. We didn’t need the fireplace, our hears were already warmed.

After dinner, we headed back to the inn where we decided to call it an early night falling asleep to Christmas movies and the sounds of snow guns from the resort.

Once morning came around, I noticed that I slept like a rock! One of the best sleeps I’ve had in many weeks. We quickly rose, got ready, and headed over to the lodge to enjoy a continental breakfast as we sat by a window watching even more snow fall on the summit of Killington. We couldn’t ask for a better place to enjoy breakfast.

After breakfast, we headed back to the room to pack up so we can head over to Killington bright and early to get a jump start on the crowds of skiers who would soon follow our lead. My mother, who is not able to ski, laid low and relaxed in the lodge where she had her book and iPhone to keep her company while I was out on the slopes. Killington has, and always will be, home to me. The mountain is like family. Killington is often referred to ad the Aspen of the east, and it’s no surprise as to why. With over 140 trails and six mountains to ride, you can easily spend your whole day there and still have more trails leftover to discover. The views from all angles are impressive as you enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding Green Mountains.

As the sun began to set, and the slopes became icy, it was time for us to depart and make our journey south back to Connecticut, but before we left Vermont we decided to make one last stop at The Vermont Country Store, just off exit 6 of interstate 91. It’s a remarkable little store filled with treasures of yesteryear where you can find old time products such as classic Coke bottles and old fashioned candies and toys. It’s a stop no one should ever pass up.

We knew this Christmas would be memorable, but I don’t believe we knew just how memorable it would become. It was, without a doubt, the very best Christmas vacation we had ever experienced. There’s just no words left to describe it. It was filled with peace and joy, but most of all, it was filled with love.

I hope you and your family have also enjoyed a wonderful Christmas and continue to enjoy this marvelous holiday season!

-Mike Valletta

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