One of the things I love most about Christmas is the family traditions. Whether it's when and how to decorate the tree, what to eat of Christmas Day or just watching Christmas classics on TV, this holiday probably has more traditions than any other. And yet it was the year that my family threw every tradition out the window that is most memorable to me.

It was Christmas 1997 when my mother surprised us all and said we'd be heading to Georgia that year to spend the holidays with my aunt, uncle and grandfather.

As a teenager I was already pretty set in our usual Christmas ways and as a native New Englander had never spent a Christmas away from the East Coast. So it was definitely a shock when I first heard about it.

But once we got down there it was actually pretty cool to just do things completely different.

My aunt and uncle lived just outside of Savannah, so first and foremost it was weird how warm and sunny it was in December. In fact on Christmas Day that year it was over 80 and we got to go swimming! Talk about strange for someone from the Northeast!

It was also nice to be able to spend that Christmas with my grandfather. He ended up passing away a few years later and that was the last Christmas we got to actually spend with him and not just on the phone.

So even though I love my Christmas traditions, it was nice to take a year away from them and try something completely different. And it certainly is a Christmas that will forever stay in my memory.