Sunday, November 11, 2018

So... We're Doing This

We are going to Disney World in December.

Cue the head explosion.

Don't get me wrong--I'm excited about it and how it will be an amazing and magical experience for the girls.

David has done all the planning, and he has made lots of choices I would not have made. (Length of trip being a big one.) But on the other hand, he is doing all the planning so I don't have to think about it, I just have to show up. (And order a few Disney-themed shirts for the girls, naturally.)

Part of me wants to ask the internet for Disney advice and part of me knows it will be overwhelming and confusing and I just want to put my head in the sand until we actually get there. So... I dunno. Any non-overhwelming advice? Like what pants do I wear to Disney in December? Seriously. I have no idea.

The trickiest part of all--aside from the pants situation--is that taking a vacation in December shortens the month for us. We are going before Christmas, which means that everything that needs to be done before Christmas really has to be done before Disney. And that feels like it is coming up SO FAST!

Which means we put a Christmas tree up yesterday. I know people get really Scroogey about decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving, but I want the weeks to enjoy the tree, and by the time Christmas is over I want to simplify and declutter and get the decorations put away. So we figured we'd decorate now while it didn't feel stressful and crazy. The girls were thrilled and helped out a lot, which means the tree is not exactly decorated in the way I would have chosen. We didn't get ribbon on it because they'd already hung so many ornaments, and the ornaments are clustered as you'd expect, about halfway up the tree and in the center. I also like to "feature" certain ornaments by giving them the prime real estate on the tree, but the girls tended to make other choices and I decided not to bark orders at them. So the tree is strongly centering Elsa and Olaf, and there are a couple of ornaments sharing a branch, although I have spread out some of them because that kind of drives me bonkers. It still looks beautiful and makes me happy to see it. Plus, it's nice to put up Christmas stuff well in advance of Eliza's birthday since I know I'll spend November 30 - December 6 feeling pretty low.

I'm keeping the dining room pumpkin-fied for Thanksgiving, but letting the rest of the house go ahead and make the shift, while also trying to convince David we can cut back on some of the decorations this year. We inherited many things from his grandma and he is sentimental about them (but I am not so much) so it's hard to convince him that some of the things could just stay in storage this year...

On the other hand, we are super simplifying Christmas shopping for the girls. I think the plan is that they will get a small gift each day while we are there to help stave off the requests for souvenirs. And we'll explain to them that those are their Christmas presents from David and me. When we get home, Christmas morning will be gifts from Santa and Grammy and Bops and other relatives who send gifts. They will not feel deprived, and Santa is keeping it small this year, too... I've heard that the big gift he's bringing is a karaoke machine. I'm sure he will stuff their stockings, and then he usually does books, a puzzle for Coco, art supplies for Zuzu, and some jammies or clothes. He won't do clothes this year since they are getting some new stuff for the trip (Harry Potter t-shirts and soft princess-inspired dresses that aren't the polyester costumes). Actually, he might do Elsa nightgowns because I think he already stocked up on those...

I guess that's it! I've already decided on it. I just need to get make a trip to the bookstore, and I'm already planning to go tomorrow night anyway to see a friend of mine talk about his new book, so I should be able to cross a few things off my list.

I do a gift exchange with a few friends, plus we buy gifts for nieces and nephews and a few little cousins. So still lots to plan! Plus holiday cards and post-Disney travel plans (we want to visit my brother and his family in Pittsburgh... we also need to have a little R&R time at home before we start a new semester).

So before we leave for Disney, I have to get through the semester, host Thanksgiving, get this novel written, get through Eliza's birthday (eight. That feels impossible but also exactly right because of course I should have an eight-year-old.), send out holiday cards, finish holiday shopping, grade all final exams and papers, get grades posted before we leave town, attend David's doctoral hooding ceremony, and hopefully make some Christmas cookies?

I kind of need a nap.


  1. We went to Disney 3 times in 18 months, and my biggest advice is DON'T ASK THE INTERNET FOR ADVICE. Millions of idiots (like, most of the people you will see at the parks) go to Disney all the time and figure it out. You will, too.

    (Another piece of advice from our travel agent: When the kids get crabby GET ICE CREAM. When you get crabby: HAVE A COCKTAIL)

  2. As someone who tends to over plan (i.e. obsess) I find it liberating to let my husband be in charge of travel. That said, for Disney I would suggest doing a few things. Don't be too ambitious about the parks, leave down time for pools, and pack something to keep your kids distracted if they have to wait in line. Lollipops worked for mine. A friend packed yogurt covered raisins. Little things go a long way in the Magic Kingdom.

  3. We are just going to miss you at Disney! We'll arrive on New Year's Day. (Shhh, it's a secret.)

  4. Sarah at The Great Umbrella Heist plans hers meticulously. Lots of info on fast passes and meet and greets. She also lost her first daughter and that's how I found both of your blogs.

  5. I have never been to Disney, so no advice to offer. But I am looking forward to the photos!! ;)