Wednesday 28 November 2012

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Decorating by Disneyland

One of my favorite parts of spending Christmas at Disneyland is the decorations. For a place that gets absolutely no snow, it's amazing just how festive of an atmosphere Disney can create simply by stringing lights and tinsel all over the park. It doesn't matter that I'm in shorts and a t-shirt instead of snow pants and a parka, when I walk down Main Street, my mind says "Christmas", and I could spend hours just looking at the incredible job the Disney imagineers do in transforming the park every December.

Disneyland Christmas Decorations

My love of Christmas decorations however, does not extend to my own house. My most hated job every year is the putting up and taking down of Christmas decorations. It's ridiculously time consuming, and no matter how much planning and effort I put in, our display always ends up looking like an afterthought. This frustration probably isn't helped by the fact that I happen to live in a neighborhood that has a talent for this kind of thing. Every time I drive down my street, I'm reminded that decorating is not my forte, and that I live in the proverbial "Ditto" house.

Ditto Christmas Lights

This year though, I thought I would try and take some inspiration from Disney. I figured that if I started early enough, and studied as many pictures as I could of the Disneyland decorations, that I must be able to find some level of Christmas spirit that I could apply to my own home. There has to be a minimal amount of festiveness that even the most un-handy of people can achieve. I mean, if a Mouse can decorate his place with enough flair to make millions of people smile, there must be something I can do to at least not embarrass my kids right? Right?

Disneyland Aurora Castle Christmas Lights

Well, I do own a couple strands of icicle lights, but I think we all know that this one is way beyond my capabilities. It's too bad really, because our house is almost the exact same size and shape.

Disneyland Hotel Christmas Tree Sled

I'm not in charge of the tree at our house, so this really doesn't fall under my jurisdiction. I have one ornament that I hang on the tree each year (a Miami Dolphins ball), and then after that I leave it up to Lori. I can tell you that we definitely won't be putting a giant drum out for the kids to bang on. Apparently some of the imagineers don't actually have kids.

Toon Town Goofy House Disneyland

Goofy's house is getting a whole lot closer to my level, as by the end of the season my lights are usually all twisted and hanging off the roof as well. Still, I think I'm looking for something a little simpler than wreaths and poinsettia leaves in strings that wrap around a chimney. Let's keep looking.

Letters California Adventure

Hmmm...simply covering everything in candy cane colors seems like a super easy way to convey the Christmas spirit. Sadly though, I have neither the red and white wrapping paper, nor the giant 'L' to put out front of my house (Although it did mysteriously disappear from California Adventure just after this picture was taken). How cool would it be if I did though right? That'd put those neighbors in their place.

Reindeer Round Up Disneyland Pluto

Antlers! Of course! Even I can slap a pair of reindeer horns and a little red nose on once in a while. It's simple, it's easy, and it pretty much screams Christmas. I think we've found that level of Disney Christmas that I can aspire to.

This post is a part of Wordless Wednesday over at Focused on the Magic. If you didn't get here from there, you should really head on over and check out some of the fantastic people that hang out there on Wednesdays. Some of them probably have more than a single string of lights on their house, maybe even in different colors! They'd feel right at home in my neighborhood.

Written by Steve Pratt