Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Last One?

This year my family is headed to Walt Disney World for Christmas. The trip cost far more than I was comfortable spending, and I'm certain the crowds will be expialidocious-atrocious at this particular time of year. But my family loves all things Disney, and I fear that this might be the last purely magical Christmas at our house, so I feel like we needed to do something special. And December in Florida has to beat the forty mile an hour wind gusts and single digit chill factor we get this time of year here in the Texas Panhandle.

Oh, Christmas will always be a special time I'm sure, but there is nothing like sharing the holiday with children, who still believe one hundred percent in all the miracles associated with December 25th. From the religious side to Santa and his flying reindeer.

My oldest son is 8. He's already a good 2 years beyond the age where my brother murdered my belief in the jolly old fat man. How long will it be before some classmate, or something he reads,(now that he reads everything), or simply a heavy dose begins to make him skeptical.

Already this year my wife and I have had to up the game so to speak. I have for years told my boys that the elf assigned to watch over them is named Squirtamirt. Taking my storytelling a step farther I tell them that they ride down to Texas on the backs of the Canadian Geese that migrate through the area this time of year.

This year we acquired the Elf on a Shelf story book and accompanying little elf dude, which we hide each night while the boys are sleeping. For now they believe and are too innocent to suspect their parents of deception. I fear this will be the last year that is the case, and once the oldest begins to suspicion he will most likely share his conspiracy theory with his younger brother. For me that will be a sad day so despite the high cost of travel, the threat of long lines, and pushy crowds, I plan to cherish this year while continuing to hope for at least one more, before the magic lamp is tarnished by the sands of time.

42 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Keep the magic going Travis - as long as you can. There is too little magic in the world. The trouble is that these little white lies have to get bigger and bigger - we dig the magic hole and eventually end up burying oursaelves in it!
Interesting what you say about winds in the Panhandle. This year I visited Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Amarillo, Alberquerque, Flagstaff and Phoenix and in Alberquerque the wind was so strong we could hardly walk against it - yet the day was sunny and hot. Very strange - now I read on your blog that this is fairly normal.

Charles Gramlich said...

brings back so many memories of when my son was little. I told him many strange stories and we had such fun. He still remembers many of those with fondness.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Suspend the belief as long as you can. Wouldya hug Goofy for me? :)

My kids (19, 18, 16) still "believe," b/c I told 'em long ago, when they quit believing in the magic of Santa, the gifts will dry up. LOL

lyzzydee said...

I hope you'll have a great time, I love Florida and Disney its magical for me a forty something person who gets a huge lump in her throat at the first sound of a tinkling tune in main street!! You have to make the most of it, I am sure no one else will have thought about travelling to Disney during the holidays, so you'll be ok ;0))

Vodka Mom said...

You are very, very cool. Last year Bitchy and Sassy held Matt down on the floor and told him there was no Santa. Yeah, I kicked a LOT of ass, and he is still recovering. However, now our mantra is "If you don't believe, you don't receive."

those bitches.

Vodka Mom said...

Have fun in Disney!!!

Travis' Wife said...

My boys will always believe. It is baby Z who still is the most fun with Santa. I love the whole wonderment of the season. I cannot wait to get to Disney...Christmas and Disney magic is already tearing me up.

Shauna said...

Have fun! To me, dragging around fussy kids at a ginormously busy park with millions of other screaming, whiny kids during Christmas is my LAST idea of fun! lol Until this year, I had never heard of the Elf On A Shelf! It's actually pretty interesting seeing the different versions. A friend of mine is doing one where the elves get into a bit of mischief each night: http://heartshapedbox-ashley.blogspot.com/2008/12/meet-noel-and-nicholas.html

Rick said...

Holidays at Disney World can be memorable. My ex-wife and I used to take our son their for New Year's Eve. Very cool and don't foget to take lots of pictures, Travis.

Travis said...

I remember when I first began to suspect. The last gasp to keep me from losing the belief was jingle bells. Late at night after we had been put to bed at my gram's, someone went outside and rang some little bells. The grownups rushed my sis and I back out of bed and we ran out front and looked up at the sky.

The grownups kept pointing up at mysterious lights rushing in the sky, and the two of us kids got so excited that we completely forgot that my gram's house was near SFO (San Francisco International airport).

But it was good enough to believe for one more year. I was about 8 then, and my sis was only 4. The next year, my mom convinced me to help maintain the illusion for my sis. That was fun for another 3 years or so.

spyscribbler said...

I've heard of this Elf on the Shelf from my students! I'm told it moves and it's alive, but you can't touch it. I haven't seen it yet, though!

PS: I was in 2nd grade.

Melissa Marsh said...

My brother and his family went to Disney World last year for Christmas and had a blast. Hope you have a great time, too!

Annie said...

I miss the times with little ones. Our "little" one is 16 and rather synical of many things. Thankfully, we have friends with little ones who don't mind us sharing the spirit of Christmas with them!

pattinase (abbott) said...

hey, my son and his wife, son, MIL and BIL are there right now. If you run into them, let me know.

niar said...

Christmas time is really a beautiful moment for family...may the happiness always accompany you and your family...have a great time in Disney.

yellowdog granny said...

way cool...christmas at disney world..far out.

tiggysmum70 said...

I am so ever jealous. I have never been to Disney. I would love to go just once. Enjoy this time!!

My lil one still believes and I pray he keeps believing far beyond the years I did.

HUGS!!!

Aerin said...

We were having this conversation recently - my sister and a group of our friends - and we realized there was never a "quit believing" time, because our mum never told us Santa was real - just that he lived in our hearts and was part of Christmas - and it was never a thing. She did the same thing with fairies and talking animals. I think it's why I have such an overactive imagination - everything could be real in imagination, even if it wasn't elsewhere.

And for the record - I'm a huge Disney nut. Fanatic. Addict. So have fun, and be sure to look for the hidden Mickeys!

Cloudia said...

Squirtamirt riding my dear canada geese. How delightful!!
You know, i never cared for Disneyland, but I now see that a place were everything is pleasant and safe might be a nice spot to visit. Enjoy, Travis, your kids and YOU deserve it! aloha-

Lana Gramlich said...

I've avoided this problem altogether by not having kids, but there IS quite a trade off there. *L*

BTW, you've never responded to my e-mail or my comment regarding your interest in my "November" painting. PLEASE e-mail me at lgramlich@email.com, as I may have an offer you can't refuse.

the walking man said...

There are some things that the expense of makes sense to pursue. Have a good trip, dry roads and fair winds.

Liz said...

We did Christmas at Disney a few years ago. Even though it was really crowded, crowded to the point where they stopped lettting people in the Magic Kingdom on one day, it was a beautiful and wonderful family trip.

Enjoy....one tip, we ate late lunches every day and had no problem getting seated at any restaurants. Cheaper than dinner and when we got back to our room I fixed PB&J for us as a late night snack. Saved us some money!

blogless troll said...

This is the second year we've done the Elf on the Shelf. Last year my wife and I used up every excuse as to why the stupid thing forgot to move to a new shelf overnight. The little ones loved it. Our older one was skeptical right away and questioned why one of Santa's elves had a plastic face.

This year we've been good about moving it, but at least once a night around 2AM one of us will sit upright in bed, sweating and gasping for air and going, "Did you move it?! Did you move it?!"

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Travis,

Enjoy the trip and enjoy the time well spend with your wife and kids. Magic is the word!

Terrie

Melanie Avila said...

Have a wonderful trip Travis! Happy holidays. :)

NAVAL LANGA said...

I have read some of your posts. I like your style of writing; and I would revisit for reading more literature from you.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a short visit to my blogs wold be an entertaining one.

Naval Langa

March to the Sea said...

i wanted to do the elf on the shelf too..never got my act together..i don't even have a tree yet!

Poetry Sue said...

if your son is smart (and I think he is) he will get why we play the Santa Charade and he won't spoil it for your youngest. When I finally figured it out my parents invited me to join them in creating the illusion of Santa for my younger sibs. it taught me the value of the true spirit of the season. I was just as happy watching my sisters enjoy Santa. I got a kick out of it every year, filling their stockings and being my parents spy to find out what they really wanted for Christmas.

Jennifer Jilks said...

Have a great trip! Don't you love it when they are young? I remember teaching gr. 5 or 6 when kids in the same classroom 'knew' and others didn't. We had fun protecting them.

Re:
"Revenge is a dish best served cold."

Very succinctly said.

NAVAL LANGA said...

I have come here from Mr. Travis Ervin's blog. I have read some of your posts. I would revisit for reading more literature from you.

If you like short stories and paintings, then a short visit to my blogs wold be an entertaining one.

Naval Langa

Barbara Martin said...

One of my nephews was told from an early age there was no Santa, which I felt spoiled Christmas for him. Of course, I told him there was a Santa, a St. Nicholas, who was a real person who brought presents to children in Germany. It made him sit up and take notice.

Chris Eldin said...

This brings a bittersweet smile to my face.
I had a talk with my oldest son when he found out about not sharing the news with younger bro. It wasn't a 'stern' talk, but a heart-to-heart. And he heard me and kept the secret.
But youngest found some hidden presents and literally ran around the house piecing the puzzle together. {sigh}

Enjoy your time together!!
:-)

DrillerAA said...

Christmas and kids just go together! If it weren't for the grandcrew, I don't know if my wife and I would bother with much of the celebration.
Take lots of photos at Disney World. Yes, I've been told it can get a little Goofy there this time of year.

Aaron said...

Sarah and I booked our honeymoon in Disney next year. I was kinda hoping with the economy in the tank that I would have been able to swing a better deal, but apparently not. Disney is just as proud of their park now as they were when I booked it several months ago.

Bina said...

Travis, I think that is a very sweet and loving thing to do for kids. It's all about making it special for them and you have certainly done that. I LOVE it!!!!

And I'll have to get on my lap top to follow that link, because my stupid work computer won't let me down flash player, which is what is said I need to follow it! AHHHH!

I hope you have a wonderful time at Disney!!!!!

Kristen Painter said...

So you'll be in my neck of the woods? I live here and I wouldn't think of tackling Disney during Christmas unless I had the right meds.

Barrie said...

I have an 8 year old too and suspect she heard some truths about Christmas at the last slumber party she attended. :( Have a great Disney Christmas!

Josh said...

do me a favor, if you see Pluto, kick him in the crotch for me. He got a little to close to me when I was in high school and creeped me out. I still have the nightmares lol

laughingwolf said...

travis, i was under 3 when i figured out there was no santa... my uncle, who's hands i played with while sitting in his lap, played the jolly elf, and i'd recognize those big, bruised hands and fingers anywhere

hope you get at least one more magical year with the boys

have fun in orlando, too :)

all the best to you and yours....

Lana Gramlich said...

Dangit, Travis! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check your "traviserwin.com" e-mail & respond, ASAP!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!

Mary Witzl said...

I do sympathize: I still remember the terrible disappointment I felt when my older sister found out that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny weren't real and told me. Your Squirtamirt will stay with your little boy for ages -- he may even make it through many generations to come.

I can remember every story my mother ever told me; I'm still not convinced that there are no fairies or angels.

Danette Haworth said...

Travis,

Nothing's better than Disney. I love Splash Mountain and a ride that some people think is lame--the TTL, which used to be called the People Mover. It's kind of a monorail that roams around Tomorrowland and takes you through some of the rides. I like it!

I ride Space Mountain, too, but I always feel like the scaffolding is going to chop my head off as I zoom under. I remember when you used to exit Space Mountain on that long conveyor belt to the tune of "RCA . . . leads the way, leads the way, leads the way-AY-AY!

I always drill my husband on these facts: There will be crowds. There will be excessively long lines, even for fast pass. People will bump you and not even say they're sorry. If you can accept these conditions, you are ready for your mission.