Holidays with The Shimansky’s are, like most things, a “Go Big or Go Home” Situation. It begins somewhere around Thanksgiving, although we inch towards it eagerly like kids waiting for the “okay” to open their first gift on Christmas Morning. My dad will start baking my grandmother’s Russian Thumbprint cookies, and while The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is playing? Breakfast is made. After filling our bellies, my sister and her boyfriend race outside to get to work as they pride themselves on their annual decorating talents. Soon, our tree will go up — and this year? My Travel Tree will be included. I’ve spent the past year or so collecting ornaments from each city I’ve traveled to, and this is the year they get their own lil’ tree! Many of our holiday traditions also include the magic of Disney World. We love exploring the resorts, meandering through the parks, and visiting our favorite “go to” holiday festivities here in Orlando, FL — The Osborne Family Lights, The “Snow” Falling in Celebration, and ICE at Gaylord Palms Resort! We’re a close knit family, that is for sure, but the Holidays? Only bring that to light more than ever. Our house is filled with family and friends — more laughter, more photos, more crazy Shimansky stories than ever before. And each year? It somehow only gets better.
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Next up, Cris of Kiss My Tulle :)
Some traditions are set in stone while some evolve as a family grows and changes. This is how most of my family’s traditions have come to be. It all started with my grandma – a VERY dedicated family person but also pretty selfish. Most of the holiday traditions that my family has celebrated year after year are a result of her desire to be surrounded by her family… but also, to not work any harder than she had to.
Take Thanksgiving. My grandma was raised in a very upper-class New England family where Thanksgiving involved fine china, crystal, and black tie. Fast forward to her life as a military wife with small children (back when the military got paid less than the fry guy at McDonald’s) and her Thanksgiving had evolved. The meal was simpler and no one worried about fancy clothes but the china was out and crystal shone. My grandma’s thoughts were that finer dining was about more than what you wore but if presented with the chance to eat your meal off beautiful things – you would be inspired to treat the meal as special.
This is a tradition that my family continues to this day. The tables maybe folding ones, the tablecloth is probably going to be kraft paper, but mom’s fine china is always used and milk is drunk from her fancy wineglasses. And you know what? Grandma was right – no matter what we’re wearing to the table, everyone sits a little straighter and uses better manners when using heirloom silverware.
Another silly Stone family tradition that has morphed and evolved into a post-Thanksgiving event is the introduction of Black Friday into the lives of Americans everywhere. Bless you, retailers everywhere! The Stone family sends its unwavering love and adoration. For years, once the Thanksgiving meal has been cleared and that first load of plates is in the dishwasher – we crack open our newspapers and devour the Black Friday ads like Hollywood agents at an open sushi bar.
We devote a good hour to circle potential sales and possible wish list items. Then comes the planning – what store do we hit first? How many people need to be there to get that door buster freebie? Do we pack snacks? We’ve been known to stay up all night organizing our battle plans. Then, at dawn – we attack. And Lord help the old ladies in line in front of me… I’ve been known to throw elbows (not really, but one time I did take an item from a cart that had been left alone for 20 minutes. The shame.)!
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Hi there! It’s Mindy from the Budget Fairy Tale blog. Before last year, my only holiday traditions included baking a rum cake and watching Love, Actually. But now my fiancé Tim and I have a new holiday tradition, and it stemmed from our engagement! Last year, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Tim proposed to me during the Believe … in Holiday Magic fireworks show at Disneyland! It was a very magical moment for me, since I was proposed to during my favorite time of year at my favorite place in the world! I told Tim I wanted to relive the day over and over, and that’s just what we plan to do. Every year, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we will go to Disneyland and go through the special moments of our engagement day. This includes:
- Riding some of the attractions we rode before he popped the question. This includes Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, It’s a Small World, and Haunted Mansion.
- Eat chili in bread bowls at The Golden Horseshoe.
- Drink hot chocolate while waiting for the fireworks show to start.
- Watch the fireworks and “snow” that falls on Main Street from our now very special spot (next to the drinking fountain near the flag pole.)
- I will wear the (temporary) ring he gave me when he proposed: a pink rhinestone Mickey ring.
- Take a picture in front of twinkling Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
- Drink celebratory champagne next to the fireplace at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.
It was an amazing day for us and I’m so excited we have this new tradition to look forward to every year! We are in the process of planning our May 2012 wedding at the Disneyland Hotel and you can follow along with all my plans at Budget Fairy Tale! Have a magical day!
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone :)