Monday, November 5, 2007

New Contest - Holiday Memories

Having grown up in Southern California, my mind is filled with memories of Disneyland. If you've never been to the Big D between Thanksgiving and New Year's, you're missing something beautiful. The entire place is covered in festive decorations. Garlands and lights, bows and ribbons in bright red, green and gold cover everything that can be covered. The Small World ride, usually not a big draw if you've been on it more than twice, becomes a must-do attraction after it's been made over in its Christmas finery. Now that's a holiday miracle right there!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOne of my most vivid holiday memories takes place at Disneyland, about 5 years ago. My family had recently moved back to Southern California after spending several years in Ohio. I was so excited about taking my son to his very first Disney Christmas, and the end of the fireworks show when they made it snow. (Okay, it's soapsuds or whatever, but it looks like it's snowing when it's falling.)

We had a great day. We watched the fireworks from right across from the castle and then the snow started. That's when I discovered that we were standing behind the snow dispensers... we could see it, but it wasn't falling on us. That just wasn't right! I gave Billy a nudge toward where the snow was falling. Being a little guy, he was able to get through, but I couldn't follow as fast as he moved, and when I got to the spot that I thought he would be, he wasn't there.

If you've ever lost a child, no matter how briefly, you know exactly how I felt. A dozen worst-case scenarios zipped through my head at once. The snowfall was over, and now the area was a sea of moving bodies. I just stood there yelling my child's name, turning around like a lighthouse.

Finally, the crowd thinned out enough that I saw him. He was back where we'd started, in the same place that we'd watched the fireworks, and he looked as scared as I felt. But as soon as we locked eyes, it was okay. I was proud of him, because he'd had the presence of mind to go back to the last place he saw me and stay put. I, on the other hand, would have run around the park like a crazy woman if I hadn't seen him there.

So there it is, maybe not the most heartwarming holiday memory, but it's something we still talk about to this day. In fact, when Billy had to write about a holiday memory for school, this is the one he chose. It does have a happy ending, after all!

By now you're probably thinking to yourself, "Didn't she mention a contest?" Well yes, I did. And here it is: Reply to this blog with your holiday memory. The one that sticks in your mind no matter how many years go by. It can be Thanksgiving or Christmas related. Everyone who responds by December 4th will be entered in the contest and I'll announce the winner on December 5th.

And here's what you'll win....

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket In the spirit of my Disney-related memory, you'll win an adorable stuffed Christmas Mickey Mouse. He's about 17 inches tall and comes from the Disney Store, where he retailed for $16.00. But he's ready to come to your home!

Want to increase your chances of winning? Just go to my website, http://www.jenniferallee.com/, and sign up for my newsletter. You'll be entered twice to get Mickey, and you'll find out about any other contests I have, as well as late breaking news.

Let the memories begin!

4 comments:

Amy said...

The Christmas I remember is about three years ago. The girls and I lived in a small house and did not have much room for a tree. The tree was hidden behind many boxes. We colored a tree on tagboard and filled it with bows. The tree was the highlight of our Christmas and we still have it. The tagboard tree becomes a backdrop for our real tree. That tree is the first thing pulled out of the box!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey Amy,

I love your story. Isn't it funny how little things like that become the most special holiday traditions?

stampedwithgrace said...

Every Christmas my Grandmother would make Gingerbread Men cookies! It was a special cookie cutter and we always put 3 red hots for buttons. They usually had flour on them and were hard, not soft like most cookies I make today. when my Grandmother was older my mother took over the tradition, but her cookies were always soft. I wondered for years why they weren't hard like Grandma's. We finally realized that while my mom stored her cookies in Tupperware, my Grandma stored hers in a shoe box!!
My 2 yo loves Mickey, so please enter me in the drawing!

Erin said...

Christmas was fast approaching and we didn't have two nickles to rub together. But we were not despairing; rather, we highlighted the reason for Christmas. Our five young children were content with the situation.
Then when I received that week's food ads, I saw that Kix, our children's favorite cereal, was on sale for only 88 cents a box! So that was to be what the kids would receive for Christmas--and we knew they'd be really happy with that.
But God is bigger than that. I believe he saw the contentment of our hearts. He placed our family on another family's heart (we still do not know who they are), and they inundated us with gifts, food, and cash.
Our "88-Cent Christmas" was the most memorable Christmas ever.