Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and I think this may have been the best yet! I've been so busy celebrating the holidays, I haven't had a chance to tell you what I've been up to. Here's what I've been up to lately:
Angel Tree Project
For the past two years, I've had the most wonderful opportunity to co-chair the Angel Tree Project on behalf of a women lawyers group I belong to. We "adopt" 65 children from a local Title I elementary school (extremely underprivileged children) and ask each child to give us their Christmas wish-list. We then find sponsors to adopt a child and buy Christmas presents for that child. We bring all the gifts to the school and throw a party for the kids with punch, cupcakes & cookies. Each child gets a big bag of toys, including new clothes and shoes. I cannot tell you how much fun it is to shop for the teenie-tiny bikes, princess dolls and action figures they request. And the looks on their precious faces when they see their giant pile of presents is priceless. It really is better to give than receive.
I wish I could have shared pictures of the kids because let me tell you, they are stinkin' adorable. But, I'm not really sure what the rule is about posting pictures of children that don't belong to you on the internet....
Annual Christmas Party
We had a great time at Michelle & Frank's annual Christmas party. I'm not sure how many years they've hosted the party but it's a great time and I'm glad we're a part of it. The Mister and I are lucky enough to have a big group of wonderful friends we've known since college. Many of us still live in the same town where we went to college and get to see each other often. Some have moved away but it's nice to have reasons like this to get everyone back together. I got some yummy Barefoot Contessa cupcake & pancake mixes I can't wait to try in the Secret Santa gift exchange.
St. Petersburg Bowl
The next morning we, along with most everyone else from the party, got in the car and drove to St. Pete to watch our UCF Knights play Rutgers in the super important, very prestigious St. Petersburg Bowl. (Sense the sarcasm people.) It was nice to be able to see our team play in a bowl so close to home and we had a great time, even though our team played like garbage and lost to Rutgers 45-24.
Making the road trip to St. Pete. My sister thought it was hilarious that I brought a two liter of Diet Coke in the car with me to refill my drink. I have a problem people.
In the lobby of our hotel.
We went on a pub crawl through downtown St. Pete before the game & popped into this dive of an Irish bar to order Car Bombs from this fancy lady. They were delish and she was a riot.
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party
Every year, The Mister takes me to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. For those of you who don't live near The Happiest Place on Earth, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event at the Magic Kingdom held on a few nights during the holiday season. They open up the park at night, light the castle in Christmas lights, serve cookies and coccoa, and it snows on Main Street. There are parades, shows and fireworks, but the best part is that they only sell a limited number of tickets so the park is practically empty. The lines for the rides are very short - you can practically walk on everything. It's a lot of fun and I look forward to it every year. Two years ago, The Mister proposed to me by the Christmas tree on Main Street!
This year, the whole family came with us. (Except my brother, who couldn't make the trip down from Boston.) My parents stayed at the Grand Floridian, so we met them at the hotel before taking the monorail over to the park. The Christmas decorations inside the Grand Floridian were beautiful! The Christmas tree was HUGE and they had an full size house made out of gingerbread!
This entire house was made of gingerbread!
The Sister is spooked by the tombstones at the Haunted Mansion.
It was another great trip to Mickey's house! Sometime's it's not so bad living in a tourist destination. It's worth putting up with the crowds to have so many fun things in your backyard.
Stay tuned for Part II, which will recap the official Christmas festivities - including a Christmas Eve wedding!