The beginning of December (last week) always signals the countdown to Christmas. And as I've said before, we don't usually decorate our house or even put up a tree until closer to Christmas. (Yes, ours is the "dark house" in the neighborhood for most of the month, but that's not important right now.)
But just because we don't start decorating, doesn't mean we don't start celebrating!
We went to Disneyland last week with my BFF, Pam and her husband, Pastor Gene and their daughter, Mary and grandaughter, CJ. Our friends live over 250 miles away and we only get to see them when they come down to Disneyland which is, of course, the perfect place for us to hang together. In fact, Pam and I have been hanging out at Disneyland (particularly at Christmastime) for over 30 years now.
That's me, Pam & Gene. Circa 1977 on the porch of one of the facades on Main Street. I remember it was the year they opened Space Mountain and besides Christmas shopping, and taking our Christmas Card photo in front of the Disney tree, we went specifically to ride Space Mountain.
I have a pretty good memory for these things. Which is why I told Pam, "We need a photo right here on this spot."
We had such a great day. It was not too hot and not too cold and we rode rides and ate and watched parades. All the same things we used to do so many years ago. Only now, maybe a little slower. (Shut up.)
I think our kids love the thought that maybe we were both young once and they kind of like that sense of shared history. You know, like, "Mom was once young. Who knew?" =D
So we rode my favorite, the Jungle Cruise.
Pastor Gene and Adam braving the wild jungle adventures.
I do I love the Jungle Cruise. Except for the part where my kids like to point out that I'm as old as this particular elephant who has been showering here since Disneyland opened in 1955. Sheesh!
Which makes me think, "Hey, I look pretty good for my age...."
Here we are at the top of Tarzan's Treehouse. Somewhere I have videotape of us bouncing up those stairs to get there. This day it took us a while to catch our breath. Ha! But we got the photo! (I just wanted proof I had done all those stairs.)
The day culminated with the lovely parade and the magical moment when they light the castle and shoot off fireworks and it snows! Can it get any more magical than that???
The fireworks! Stupendous! Made me cry. (they always do!)
How much more magic can I stand? We got to kick off our Christmas celebration at Disneyland with some of our favorite-practically-like-family friends. Adam bonded with their grandaughter, CJ. They were so cute together.
And of course, by the end of the night, I was able to get my four kids in a photo together rockin' the castle in the background. (Which was a main event for me.)
Aren't they just adorable? CJ liked how they looked away and wanted to do it too.
I like how the balloon happened to escape into the photo too. A nice touch. (Look at CJ's face, she was really working it!)
And of course, The Pensieros and the Castle.
What a practically perfect day.
Glad I got to share it with my best friend, forever. In my favorite place. With my favorite people. It just doesn't get any better than this.
Hi Pam! Love you MORE!
So you see, even if we don't have decorations up, the celebrations have already begun.