For many years now my family has enjoyed spending Thanksgiving together at the most magical place on Earth. We have spent numerous hours planning our trips, excitedly deciding where we would eat Thanksgiving dinner, and putting each year’s itinerary into my binder adorned with covers made from pictures of Mickey and his friends enjoying turkey dinner. It has been so much fun and has added more joy to my life than I could ever put into words.
Our trip will be very different this year: we will be traveling at a different time of year, experiencing a different kind of trip, and I will be missing one of my “ducks.” We started visiting at Thanksgiving because the children were on school break that week and, although we allowed them to miss school a couple of days on the front end, it proved to be the best time of year to go. Plus, we were able to enjoy all of our wonderful Christmas traditions at the parks like the Castle Dream Lights, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. Sharing that week with the family, including my son who has been on his own for several years, has created the most wonderful week of the year for me for a long time.
My husband has always teased me by saying that the only way I can really enjoy myself and experience true happiness is when I have “all my ducks in a row.” When we would travel to WDW for Thanksgiving and I had all three kids with me, just like when they were young, I was at my happiest. That is just how I am. This year, we will have only two with us and, although I love them dearly, I will miss having my oldest with us. He will be off on a great adventure of his own – fatherhood! He will be at home with my precious little soon-to-be granddaughter when we go. I will have them to look forward to (and to shop for) while we are on our trip. While I will be missing Johnnie dearly, he will be becoming the love of his little girl’s life. That’s just as it should be; and I couldn’t think of a better gift for him – can you?
So, this year we will be breaking tradition. With my youngest two now in college, we will be travelling immediately before Christmas. We will travel on a Land & Sea vacation on December 14-23. With our trip beginning so late, you can understand that I will have to completely change how I have been doing things for the holiday season for many years; including decorating, shopping and trip planning.
Usually, we are unable to decorate our house until after we are back from WDW at the end of November. This year, we will decorate the day after Thanksgiving to be able to enjoy our Disney Christmas house for as long as possible before we leave in mid-December. We will enjoy our tree with all of our past Disney ornaments but rather than having our new 2011 choices, we will wait to bring those back with us two days before Christmas (with a brand new ornament to mark Aleyah’s first Christmas).
I usually play Santa beginning on December 1; trying to have everything purchased, received and wrapped by Christmas day. This year, I will have to have lists very early as I will need to have everything purchased and wrapped before we leave in mid-December as we return only 2 days before Christmas. That will be a switch!
Planning our trip has been exciting. Going on a Disney cruise sounds like a wonderful, exciting vacation and I am glad we are still able to have a few days at the parks as well. My binder will require a holiday makeover. I will most likely use a cover of Mickey and his friends something like the one in the header of this article; one that includes a larger family and precious little ones again.
Growing my family Disney is what I always had in mind when I visited Walt Disney World in my teenage years. Sharing hugs, smiles, fun and memories with my family is a blessing for which I am so very thankful. I treasure every second of it. So, we’ll bend with the stages of life and start a new generation of Disney lovers in the process. This year we are breaking tradition – or maybe we are starting a new one!
Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.