Disneyland, Christmas, 2006 recap

DISNEY DAZE: We’ve been going to Disneyland on Christmas Eve day with friends for several years now. It’s a loosely organized day starting when the park opens, going until fireworks. We don’t meet at someone’s house and leave in a group because that’s like herding cats and nobody gets anywhere on time. We go to the park individually and call each other once there. Naturally everyone must wear a silly hat so Kat and I wore our light-up Xmas trees, which is about as silly as you can get. We had a grand time at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon where a hillbilly Elvis impersonator flirted outrageously with Cate. Though John is rather ‘Disney’d out’, he enjoys people-watching plus the Peter Pan and Buzz Lightyear rides. He got a kick out of Fred, the humorous clean-up man, who informed a group of us that the bench we were sitting on was not a ride so there was no use waiting for it to take off. Fred also pointed out that it was already Christmas, since we were in Tomorrowland, and with a cheerful wave, he went off to sweep up more trash.

Our eldest daughter, Kathryn, not only loves every square inch of D’land, but has become an ardent pin-trader, as have Lora and me. Kat has no interest in value, she just loves the pretty pins that have some meaning for her; a memory, favorite movie, etc. Some pin-traders are very rude to cast members (employees), but Kat asks nicely and thanks them for trading with her so they usually give her tips for things to look for and let her trade from both the adult’s and the children’s lanyards. Lora looks for Stitch pins where all 6 legs show but made a concession for the 4-legged Elvis Stitch. She also likes Nightmare Before Christmas pins, especially the Jack Skellington. I collect whatever takes my fancy, such as the Norman Rockwell parody with Mickey painting his self-portrait: Walt Disney. I got an Edna Mode from The Incredibles in memory of my mom, who worked in Edith Head’s wardrobe department at Warner Bros, and would have appreciated the send-up of her personality.

Now if the park would only set up a Living History section in Frontierland where pioneers in period garb could gather with spinning wheels, dyepots, and table looms to show visitors how it was done ‘Way Back When. Seems to me that if the reprieved White House Thanksgiving turkey has a place at D’land, you’d think they could find room for a few fiber artists. Even if done only on weekends and holidays, it would be a valuable educational attraction.

Looking back: 2006 had its ups and downs, but at least we have moved forward a bit. Christmas was loads of fun. We don’t really observe it religiously, but we like the decorations, music, gifting, getting together with friends and relatives, plus a few orphans of the storm who for whatever reason don’t have anyplace else to be. Lora got more penguins for her collection, plus a Swiss rifle to shoot skeets with Jason. John got a beautiful hand decorated griffin box from me (made by Judith Kingsbury ska Miriam bas Levi); I’m trading SCA garb for it. Kat got several of her favorite gifts: Target cards. I got money toward my Mayan Highland trip (yay!) and the dogs got new wubbies to tear apart.

This year we had 20 people sitting down to a haphazard table arrangement of good food, great conversation, and family games after dinner, with a few more showing up for dessert. The family tends to ignore the dictum to invite only same-age people of like-interest, so there is never a lag in conversation. Everyone brought a “Gee, Aunt Edna, you shouldn’t have” gift to fob off onto someone else, which was great fun. One person’s Aunt Edna is another’s beautiful gift. New Year’s Eve will be a games night; a good way to end the year. We raise our hopeful eyes to 2007 with the sincere wish that all of you get everything you ever wanted.

THANKS: We continue to owe heartfelt gratitude to many people who helped our little business grow. Our son-in-law, Jason, quietly does nifty things like feed a pack of people without notice, keep pitchers of iced tea and fruit punch on the table when we need it while packing for events or making up kits. Daughter Lora takes time away from her own business at The Big Tease Hair Salon to help at workshops and in booths. Daughter Kathryn helps refill rinse buckets and run errands at dye demos and workshops. Kathy Santineau and Todd Etzel have been wonderful helpers in our merchant booth as have Katherine Zon and many others. Roberta Brubaker cheerfully shows anyone who stopped in our booth how to spin on her 150 year old Great Wheel. The Blue Nails Dyers Guild and the Dyen to Ply Group pitched in wherever they could and we are very grateful to them. Overall, we’ve got a huge amount of things to be very thankful for, and all the wonderful people who have helped are at the top of that list!