Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah to You

At the end of my last blog entry, I posted a link to the Flash version of the Chrismahanukwanzakah song. My intrepid husband found a link to the actual Virgin Mobile commercial in Quicktime format:

Click here to see it, and please be patient as it will take a little while to download.

And just in case you missed the Flash one, click here to see it.

I find it hard to believe that the Christmas portion of the holiday season is almost here. Usually it sneaks up on me, but this year it started out slow and then suddenly gained momentum like a speeding locomotive.

Happily, we'll be spending the holidays in Florida...well, sort of. We embark on the Disney Wonder on the Thursday before Christmas, and we'll be spending the holiday itself on Castaway Cay. Then, on the 26th, it's back to Celebration, where we'll ring in our second new year.

I love spending the holidays in Florida. This year, we still haven't managed to get to the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. It's a yearly tradition for us to see their moving rendition of the Christmas story. We'll be doing that, and we're also hoping to catch at least one Christmas dinner show. They have special shows at Arabian Nights and the Dixie Stampede, so it's going to be a hard choice. We're also planning to make it over to the Gaylord hotel for the ice festival. It's just a stone's throw from Celebration, and the ice sculptures are supposed to be very impressive.

We did partake of a little holiday spirit the weekend before last, when my nephew and sister-in-law came to visit. We originally started traveling on at least one of the major end-of-the-year holidays (usually Thanksgiving) to avoid family insanity, but now that we have our house in Florida, the family finds their way to us. It works out a lot better than way, as family dysfuntion seems to decrease when everyone feels like they're on vacation.

My husband is a thrill ride fanatic, so he took my little nephew to the Disney theme parks for some power riding. Meanwhile, my sister-in-law and I spent the day visiting the various WDW resorts to look at their holiday decorations. I love the theme trees at each hotel and the giant gingerbread house at the Grand Floridian. Several of the other hotels feature their own smaller gingerbread creations.

We also poked around Downtown Disney, where the decorations and piped-in Christmas music lends a festive spirit. And while we were there, the crowd was as thick as any shopping mall in December. I know people who swear that they could never feel Christmasy if it wasn't cold and snowy outside, and goodness knows I'm not one of them. I can feel as much Christmas spirit among palm trees and sunshine as I can in a blizzard.

That evening, we all met up at Fort Wilderness to see the Hoop Dee Doo Review. My husband and I see it every couple of years. It never changes, but it's great fun in a corny Hee-Haw sort of way. We had reservations for the late show, so by the time we arrived, it was long after dark and the temperature had plummeted. If I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine that I was back in Chicago. We had all purchased sweatshirts, but they were no match for Jack Frost, who was apparently on vacation down south this year.

As we waited outside, we started conversing with a grandmother and her grandaughter who were waiting near us. Night time at WDW seems to be the time that everyone gets friendly and chatty. Well, not quite everyone...the kids are tired and fussy, but the parents and grandparents are all in the mood to socialize. I've never figured out why, but my guess is that it's the relaxation of being on vacation.

The grandma told us that when each of her grandchildren reaches a certain age, she takes them to Disney World as their birthday gift. They had also done a VIP tour at Bush Gardens that sounded like something I'd love to try. Chatting made the cold a little more tolerable and helped the time pass more quickly, at least for us adults. My little newphew was full of over-tired energy and impatience and kept up a variation of the infamous broken-record "Are we there yet?" routine ("Is it time to go in yet? Is it time to go in yet? Is it time to go in yet?").

Pioneer Hall was decked out in gorgeous holiday finery, and the performers worked several Christmas songs into the show. My husband, sister-in-law, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but my nephew ended up falling asleep at the table. He did, however, manage to wake up long enough to consume the strawberry shortcake dessert.

Soon enough, Christmas will be over for another year and we'll be welcoming 2005 with friends in Celebration. It's been a heck of a year, especially with the hurricane trio. I can't wait to see what 2005 will bring.

And here, in the immortal words of Ween, as written for Virgin Mobile phones, is my all-inclusive holiday wish for everyone:

It's okay if you're a Christian, a Muslim or a Jew,
It's okay if you're agnostic and you don't know what to do,
An all-inclusive celebration,
No contractual obligation,
Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah to you (and pagans too!)

In some ways we're all monkeys,
Well, maybe just a smidgen,
I'm a Scientologist,
That's kind of a religion,

Whose faith is the right one,
It's anybody's guess,
What matters most is camera phones for $20 less.

And there's never any hidden fees,
Oh what a joyous day,
No commitments means I'm proud to go both ways!

Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah to you,
This is gonna be the best Chrismahanukwanzakah ever!

You can email me with questions or comments at: celebration@gmail.com

Visit my Celebration website at www.celebrationinfo.com

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