Although my son Andy has certainly enjoyed the festivities of his past Christmases (having turned four-years-old in November, this year is his fifth), this year is the first year that he has really shared in the overall anticipation of the holiday. Of course, a big part of that has been his first real understanding of the ideas and stories of Santa Claus.
My wife and I have really had a great time playing up the Santa story and helping him to build his excitement. A couple weeks ago, we sat down with him one evening and let him dictate the traditional letter to Santa. His requests were for “An airplane present”, “a blanket”, “paper” (he has been very into drawing and coloring lately), and “more presents”. We were especially amused that he has already learned to hedge his bets with the final “catch-all” request. This letter was written a couple evenings before a babysitter was coming over while we went out to finish our Christmas shopping. We took the letter along that evening and reported that we were going out to deliver it to Santa.
One of the Disney-related discussion boards that my wife and I both enjoy participating on is called Mousepad. Like many discussion boards, this one includes a "signature line" feature, where it will automatically append a personalized signature to every post you write. Unlike some boards, the software at this site is set up so that if you change your signature line in the settings, it will automatically change the signature on all of your posts, including old ones.
Quite a few of the regular participants (and staff members) on these boards are people that my wife and I have known for quite some time, both online and in real life. Because of this, we have found that it is fun to regularly change our signature lines to cryptic references to various events in our lives, frequently based on funny things our currently 4-year-old son has said or done. I admit to have basically stolen this idea from a good friend, but hopefully she doesn’t mind too much.
During our recent Disney Cruise and Walt Disney World vacation, we started coming up with signature line ideas so much that we finally just started taking down a list. After getting home, I created a web page with the list and my wife and I both just put links to that page in our signature line. Now that it has been up for a while, I figured I’d write up the explanations for each item, since they all represent (hopefully) amusing little anecdotes from the trip. Hopefully this will be a fun little epilogue to my previous trip reports.
This evening, we visited Disneyland to see the annual Candlelight Processional and Ceremony, a long running program of traditional choral Christmas music performed in the Town Square area of Main Street USA. This show features a combined choir made up of numerous area choirs along with a live orchestra and a celebrity narrator. This year’s narrator was Jane Seymour. Although the show is held on Main Street during park hours, it isn’t heavily promoted to the public and a large portion of the viewing area is reserved seating that is not particularly easy to get. They do offer a very limited number of expensive dinner packages to the general public, but the vast majority of the tickets are distributed to invited guests, mainly through various Disney corporate partners. Most of the public viewing is largely obstructed views and a generally long wait is required to stake out a half-way decent spot.
Since we have a 4-year-old that wasn’t likely to sit patiently for the 60-minute show (not to mention the fairly long wait), my wife and I decided to each go to a separate performance while the other took our son on attractions. Right after the second parade got past Main Street, my wife headed off to find a spot for the 5:30 performance. She ended up staking out a spot opposite the Opera House, pretty much right by the rope into the reserved seating area. As soon as the processional started to make its way into the theater, she joined the crowds in that area that were allowed to move in to fill the unused seats in the reserved seating area. As a result, she ended up with a really good seat for the show.