I’m a stickler for tradition. There are a few things from my childhood that I cherish and wish to pass on to my own children…and their children. It gives me joy to think that the events I start will carry on for generations. There is a sense of constancy and eternity. No tradition is more special than those surrounding Christmas! Every Christmas morning my kids get us up early. They run to the family room to see what Santa left them. As they open their stockings, the cinnamon rolls that have been rising all night bake in the oven and the coffee brews. We enjoy this breakfast as a family, all matching in our new jammies we just opened on Christmas Eve, before diving into the rest of the gifts. These things are constant and comforting.
Yet…some traditions need to be altered. Occasionally.
All these years I have said, “Christmas morning needs to be at home.” I love candlelight church service. The scent of the pine Christmas tree in our home fills me with so much joyous anticipation! A fire in the fireplace and the comfort of getting up from our own beds and coming downstairs gives me that feeling of timelessness. This year though…I felt we needed a change. Our children are growing up oh so quickly; each member of our family being pulled in different directions. I have a feeling that if I added up all the time we actually spend together as a family I would be shocked and horrified at the low number of moments. I wanted a Christmas that got us away from the distractions of home. I wanted us to be able to focus on “us” in a way that we wouldn’t be able to if friends and extended family were near. As much as I adore visiting with loved ones and sharing the holiday with grandparents and cousins, I knew my small family unit needed some focus. I wished, more than anything, for us all to feel close. So I booked us a cabin in Disney World.
Now you might think that a Christmas in Disney World would offer a plethora of distractions. And you would be right. However, as frequent Disney visitors, this trip was going to be different. I hardly planned a thing. Sure, I had my days marked with Extra Magic Hours and a sprinkling of dining reservations. I scheduled time to do holiday themed events like “Holidays around the World” in Epcot, the “Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights” and the church service at the Contemporary Resort. Aside from that, we did what we felt like…as a family. If you’ve ever visited Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort you know how wonderfully chill it is. Plus so many go overboard with fantastic Christmas decorations on their cabins and campsites! Our tradition of driving around neighborhoods looking at decorations could still be done! Only this time, by golf cart!
We ordered groceries from the wonderfully convenient Garden Grocer (including a Christmas tree, cookies to bake for Santa and eggnog) and all was in our cabin by the time we arrived! We cooked many meals and ate most on our deck unrushed and completely casual. We decorated our tree and drank the eggnog just like we do at home. Only this year, we have cherished memories like that of my husband and children all braving Summit Plummet and of watching “A Muppet Christmas” at the Chip and Dale Campfire theatre!
When Christmas morning came, nothing changed. We saw what Santa brought, had some cinnamony goodness and coffee for breakfast in our matching jammies and took our time sharing our gifts, really seeing each other for the first time in a long while. Despite the fact that we were in Disney World with countless others, we felt the intimacy of a dear family Christmas with the Magic only Disney can offer.