One of the most important parts of the Holiday season is keeping your own family traditions, even if you are not a home to enjoy them. This was my biggest worry when we decided to spend Christmas at Walt Disney World. So, I brought Christmas to Disney with us.
I shipped boxes down full of supplies to make our hotel room feel like Christmas, actually I shipped 4 or 5 boxes full of stuff. I sent down a small Christmas tree that I had picked up at Target for $7 along with lights and unbreakable princess ornaments. I threw in some garlands that I had laying around from my former life as a teacher. Dollar store window clings were in the box to decorate the windows. I also found some stockings with the kids initials and shipped those with command strips to hang on the hotel wall.
At Boardwalk, we had a balcony, so I did garland along my railing for everyone to see. I wish I had thought to bring more or outdoor lights because there were many people who did that. The Christmas tree was in the window and each of the girls bought an ornament to hang on it as a keepsake. I left the tree behind when we checked out, but brought home the ornaments and lights. The kids were able to decorate our room and grandma’s room with the window clings.
In addition to decorations, I shipped down gift bags, wrapping paper, scissors and tape. We did a gift exchange among the kids on Christmas morning and they were able to shop at WDW for each other and wrap the gift. I also bought a few things on Christmas eve from Santa (in addition to what I shipped and hid) while the kiddies were in Grandma’s room watching a movie in their PJs.
For my mom’s room (a 1 bedroom villa so we could all fit in there together), we ordered a beautiful tree from Disney Floral and Gifts. They came and set it up the 2nd day of our trip and it was a wonderful surprise to come home from the parks and see it there, as if by magic. The best part was after she checked out, they came and boxed everything up (including the tree, lights, ornaments, etc.) and sent it to her house. We set it up last week and it brings back such wonderful memories.
Another tradition for my family is wearing matching Christmas pajamas. Prior to our trip, we purchased matching Mickey PJs for all the kids and ladies (the guys won’t wear them). Christmas morning, 13 of us come traipsing through the lobby in our jammies. You should have seen the looks we got (mostly smiles but a lot of “are you crazy”)!
We started a new tradition as well. On Christmas Day, the only place I could get reservations for 14 people was for lunch at Teppan Edo in Japan. No one was happy with this choice (except me) but there were no other sit down options. Everyone loved it and had a wonderful time. Now, we go to the hibachi grill at home to celebrate birthdays all together. Not a traditional holiday meal, but very interactive and fun!
Even if you are not at home, make sure your own traditions come shining through while you are on vacation. I was surprised how much everyone enjoyed our Christmas at Disney and not a single kid was homesick or worried about Santa!