THIS year, lots of people might not be able to afford the big family Christmas get-together at home, thanks to the cost of living crisis.

So I'm taking my husband and three kids to a lodge on a closed holiday park near my in-laws, to save on cash, stress and mess.


We've paid £275 to go to Broadland Sands holiday park near Great Yarmouth, for three nights just before Christmas.

Our three-bedroom static caravan has more mod cons than our house, including a coffee maker for those early festive mornings, a walk-in wardrobe and a big breakfast bar for entertaining guests.

Unlike at our own home, whoever is cooking won't be tucked away in a different room, missing out on the family fun.

With one big communal space that includes the kitchen, dining room and lounge, we're hoping it will be the perfect place for our extended family to enjoy meals together.

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The fact that it's not anyone's home makes it easier for everyone to chip in with food and cooking without treading on any toes.

My husband and I are in charge of the Christmas dinner, my parents-in-law are sorting the buffet and my brother-in-law is bringing the all-important extras.

One of the big bonuses for me is that I won't spend the week before cleaning the house and making beds, so that everybody can be accommodated.

It'll be great being able to concentrate on the fun side of the festivities, stocking up on tasty grub rather than stuff to scrub.

Another massive plus is that we won't be constantly watching the meter as we turn on the heating and crank up the cooker.

The utilities are all included in the price of the lodge, so we'll be able to cook our turkey and all the trimmings without worrying about the energy bills.


If everyone wants to treat themselves to a warm bubble bath every night, that's no problem. And a brand new fully insulated lodge will be easier to keep warm than our draughty house.

After the big get-together, I won't have the costs of washing and drying all the bedding either.

My family of five, including sons aged 10, 8 and 3, will be a bit sad not to be splashing in the pool, dancing at the disco or enjoying any extra activities, given that the park itself is shut for the season.

But it'll give us a chance to chill out in the lodge or take a stroll along the beach instead, and the lack of entertainment facilities is reflected in the price.

It's the first time I've spotted an accommodation-only deal like this from Park Holidays – a term time midweek break at the same lodge starts at £379, but can rise to more than £1,000 during the summer holidays.

Having stayed there last Easter, I'm looking forward to the fluffy dressing gowns and slippers, hotel quality bed linen and showroom-standard furnishings.

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Obviously the price of hiring a lodge will be more than it would cost us to host at home, even with high energy bills and the like.

But it's not just about the financial side, it's also about it being a holiday for everyone, instead of lots of work for the hosts and travel costs and expense for the guests.


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