Just the thought of Christmas brings a smile to my face and a special warmth to my heart. I love the yuletide feelings and the joy surrounding the holidays, so I was thrilled to find out my Disney Parks Moms Panel sister, Jane, from “across the pond,” felt the same way. Jane and I met a year ago on our training trip for the Panel and we were instantly connected by our love of Disney and our love for cooking. A few weeks ago we added another similarity to our list by discussing our love of Christmas! We excitedly shared our adoration for the holiday and compared how we celebrated in our home countries! It was so fun to compare and contrast how the UK and the USA enjoy “the most wonderful time of the year.” Today, you can read about my family’s favorite Christmas traditions and then hop on over to Jane’s World, to read all about how she celebrates across the Atlantic. We are calling it our Mid-Atlantic Christmases! Her post is truly wonderful and makes me long to wear my ugliest Christmas jumper, (a tradition they are just starting to adapt) while I dine on Cornish clotted cream and scones and take part in pulling Christmas crackers!
Just after Thanksgiving, we begin pulling out our Christmas decorations and “decking the halls.” We string lights, hang stockings by the fireplace and adorn our Christmas tree with ornaments, garland, and occasionally –ribbon, tinsel and even popcorn and make the whole house extra merry and festive. We also partake in advent calendars or other types of Christmas countdowns much like the ones we have as we get closer to a Disney vacation. The children begin dreaming of what items they will ask Santa Claus to bring them and will either write Jolly Ol’ St. Nick a list, or pay him a visit to sit on his lap and make their requests in person. One of the newest Christmas trends is “Elf on the Shelf.” Although the cute idea has been around for quite some time, in the last few years it seems to have really grown in popularity and a simple Google search will turn up hundreds of photos of elf antics. These little elf helpers are reported to visit your homes to take note of the children’s (and adults) behavior and report back to Santa each evening. Our little guy is here more to remind our littles about the spirit of giving and to help them complete our December Acts of Kindness. When we aren’t busy decorating, we are baking holiday treats. Cookies, candy and other sweets fill our bellies and fill our homes with glorious smells. On Christmas Eve, we leave a plate of cookies and a tall glass of milk for the Big Guy and sometimes even a treat for the reindeer. Our little ones scurry off to bed, thinking of the gifts they will give and receive in the morning. In our family, we allow each person to chose one present to open up on Christmas Eve.
Christmas light displays can vary from “Griswold lights” to traditional white lights and candles in the windows. Businesses, families, friends and the like all hold Christmas parties and a common theme is “Ugly Christmas Sweaters.” Competitive patrons like to dress in the most tacky or hideous sweater they can find and some parties even give a special reward to the guest with the best, worst sweater.
On Christmas Day, we dine on a Christmas roast and other dishes and enjoy sipping Eggnog mixed with spiced rum. We watch the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, of course, and then spend the day visiting with family or going to one of the new movies released that day. I just love this jolly holiday.
That about wraps up my Christmas traditions and the way we celebrate here, in the United States. Don’t forget to pop on over to Jane’s blog and read all about how she and the rest of England prepare for and participate in their merry yuletide festivities.
Merry Christmas one and all!