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Friday, December 21, 2018

the most wonderful time of the "ear"

happy fri-YAY... and happy holi-YAYS!

This week, I came home from my craziest semester ever.  No lie, my life has been wild since September.  Between all of the theatre I've seen, all of the blog posts I've written, all of the essays I've procrastinated, all of the shifts I've worked, and all of the DISNEY I've visited... this break is much-needed.  Not just to recharge my mental stamina, but to recharge my creative energy!

I know you guys are ready to clock me because I haven't posted on this blog in a month.  And I know that seems like a death sentence for a blog.  Listen-- I promise that over the next month, more creative effort than ever will be going into tinkerkait.  Like I mentioned before, all of my creative energy this past month went right to the DISboards, where I'm currently writing my November 2018 Trip Report.  You are more than welcome to check it out, the link is here and on the top of the page, under "other links!"  Now that I'm no longer tied to sorority events and academic papers, I can put more focus into new content for tinkerkait.  I have so many fun things planned in the next upcoming month!

Even though Fall 2018 was crazy busy, it was also crazy fun!  I got to do so many awesome things this semester with my friends and family, like:

  • Meeting my favorite West End actress, Samantha Barks, after her Broadway debut in Pretty Woman
  • Getting published on my school's chapter of Her Campus
  • Seeing the first preview of the Cher Show on Broadway
  • Attending my region's first ever "Empowerment Rally" with Sigma Delta Tau
  • Spending my first holiday vacation with my family in Disney World
  • Lastly: Winning the Saturday Night Live ticket lottery and getting to see the live taping with Jason Momoa and Mumford & Sons!
I had so much fun this Fall, but I can't wait for Spring!  Spring is always an exciting semester at school because our primary recruitment season starts in February.  I can't wait to meet our SP19 new member class!  Who knows?  Maybe one of them will be my G-Little.

As exciting as the prospect of Spring semester is, I'm double excited for this upcoming week.  My family loves Christmas just as much as we love Disney!  Our house has been a flurry of baked goods, Christmas movies, and pine garland for the past month.

Christmas has always been our favorite time of the year.  My favorite memories from my childhood all stem from December 24 and December 25.  As a little girl, Christmas Eve was my absolute favorite day of the year.  For as long as I can remember, my family has hosted Christmas Eve, and both of my parents' sides of the family would join us for dinner and sharing presents.  There were so many traditions that followed this day!  All of the memories I have play together in a continuous loop in my head: I'd go to work with mom in the morning, pick up the catering from Stop & Shop on our way home, throw the best Christmas Eve party ever, and the night would end with my sister and I going to sleep in a brand new pair of pajamas!  When I was a child, this was the best and most exciting night of the year, and it's still pretty great.  I don't think anything can beat sharing a buffet of Italian food with a room full of your favorite people... or knowing that there's a new pair of pajamas and fuzzy socks waiting for me upstairs at the end of the night.

Because my family loves Christmas so much, and because we do kind of host the most lit Christmas Eve party ever, we take decorating the parlor very seriously.  It's typically the same tree, pine garland, wreath, and stockings by the fireplace, but this year, they really upped the ante on the Disney.  I had to share photos with you guys.

We got this little Mickey tree last year.  I'm almost positive it's an outdoor decoration, but my parents like the way it looks with the rest of our indoor decorations, so we keep it under the mantle.  Mom also wanted to display the vintage mouse dolls she got at Walt Disney World this year, since they went with her theming.

I'm just really, really proud of the wreath mom made.  She saw the idea in one of her Facebook groups and nothing could stop her from making it.  We spent weeks searching for the perfect sized wreaths for the ears!  She had a custom-made sign that says our last name in the Disney font, and plopped that in there, too.  It came out so beautiful, I know we're going to treasure it for a long time!  The big wreath, ornaments, and ribbon are from Hobby Lobby.  The "ear" wreaths are from Home Depot.  The sign with our name in Walt's signature handwriting font is from Etsy-- you can buy them from Dream Light Design here.

Our mantle this year was styled with all the fun souvenirs we purchased from our new favorite part of Walt Disney World Resort.  You may or may not be able to guess which part of Disney is our new favorite.

And of course, we have TONS of new ornaments for our tree.  We can't leave Disney World until mom has at least one brand new ornament to take home.  We bought our first one during our 2010 trip.

We also love Hallmark ornaments.  Our favorite new ornament this year is from Hallmark's 2018 collection:

We have two more from Hallmark's 2018 collection, and they're both very sweet.  One is a vintage Steamboat Willie ornament, and the other is a Partner's statue ornament.

As you might imagine, I always make sure there's an appropriate amount of tinkertude on our Christmas tree.

My personal favorite ornament on the tree was purchased on Etsy, from Ye Olde Proppe Shoppe LLC.  Last year, we bought this ornament to commemorate our new DVC purchase and our new home: the Polynesian Village!  You can purchase your own longhouse family name ornament here.

Although I could spend hours talking about how much I love our family's Christmas decorations, my family is about to bake some more Christmas cookies, so I have to go!  Before I return with a new post, I have to know: what are your family's favorite Christmas traditions?  Let me know in the comments below and I'll feature you next week.  Happy holidays!


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