Start a New Tradition

Christmas 2013eWhat is your holiday tradition? This is a time of year  filled with personal tradition, no matter what aspect of the holiday season you celebrate.

Ever since I moved to Florida and experienced the spectacle of the Disney Candlelight Processional, attending that event became one of my holiday traditions. Of course it falls upon a poor Disney employee to get all their family and friends into the parks at holiday time!

I make it a special party by having one or two other friends tag along. After all, it is a birthday party, since December is my birth month! The lights are for me! So it is with great appreciation to my friend Ray, the Disney cast member, that I dedicate this blog.

Each year the excursion is different depending on when we get there and what we do; we may catch a theme park ride, see the early Processional, go to the Disney Studios to see the millions of Osborne lights on display and maybe catch the Illuminations fireworks on the way back. Simply throw ourselves into the ambience of the season surrounded by lights, decorations and Christmas fireworks. Sometimes the Christmas spirit gets an assist from a cold front visiting Florida, as was the case this weekend!

After the early Processional was over, Ray, my friend Jerome and I decided to catch the 6 PM show at American Adventure. There is usually either a store or restaurant at the exit of every Disney show, in this case it was a restaurant and we were hungry. After the gentleman treated me to a birthday dinner, it just so happened that the second Processional was ending. We got to hear the Hallelujah Chorus for a second time! Amazing!

We hopped into the boat to go see the Osborne Lights, but to our dismay, (mostly my friend Jerome’s), the boat driver announced that the park would be closed by the time we got there, so no light display! (No worries, I have Osborne light photos from past years to share with you, on this page and the home page.) Instead of viewing the lights, we enjoyed a leisurely, one-hour boat cruise through Disney property. I love boat cruises, so I was happy!

That got us back in time to hear the third Hallelujah chorus of the evening and see fireworks. A Hallelujah trifecta, hat trick, triple play? Simply unheard of! Certainly it is an omen of good things to come in 2015! My night was perfectly topped off with a Starbucks Chestnut Praline latte. Hallelujah!

What is your holiday tradition? Just like the saying, “batteries not included,” you could say, “family is not required.” You can create a tradition unique to yourself, by yourself. It’s your choice. Whether it is a Christmas Eve adventure, visiting a festive winter display or special holiday spot, watching a Christmas movie, create something that is “your own.” Here is a hint: it doesn’t even have to be about “you.”

I have always wanted to visit a retirement home at the holidays and give them some holiday cheer. This year marked the first time that my friend Jerome and I led a karaoke Christmas sing-along at a retirement home. Now, that is the spirit of the holidays! I hope we can do that every year from now on, and even visit more than one home. I want to visit the same home on Christmas Day. There may be residents who have no family or visitors on the holiday – what better gift is there to give but the present of “presence?”

You have ten days left to create some Christmas magic. Start a new tradition in your life by finding a new way to bring joy to your world and the lives of others.

Speaking of traditions, one thing I do know, it’s two weeks after Thanksgiving, and it is time to make the traditional turkey soup!

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