Christmas is a holiday you often sort of gloss over in a wave of tradition and commercialism. Every year, you do the same things with the same people, and you sort of end up forgetting what the holiday is all about – even though a million TV specials will give you their ideas

As a society, we have become more and more jaded about holidays – it has lead us to write off holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day as “Hallmark Holidays,” with no purpose or meaning.

This year, for Christmas, why not try something new and different? Try to bringing a little more fun to the Christmas Holiday by taking in the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights, the Holiday Wishes Fireworks show, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at Disney World?

Now, of course, you’re thinking, “Wait a minute. Hold up here a second! You’re telling me to make the holiday less commercial by celebrating it at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida? Uh-uh, I’m not buying it!” There’s no snow, no ice, and no way that Disney has any less commercial intentions than Hallmark for this so special of holidays. You’re digging your feet in, crossing your arms, and saying, “NO WAY! I am not spending Christmas in a lousy theme park watching some twinkling lights and accepting that as a more special holiday than a glass of eggnog in front of the fire at home, watching the same Christmas movie I do every year and that’s final!”

Let’s just see if we can’t change your mind by addressing your concerns, hm?

No Snow – No Problem

While it is true that it doesn’t snow in Orlando, Florida, during Mickey’s “Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” seemingly magical snow falls from the floats, the surrounding buildings, and inexplicably, from the sky. Mickey, and therefore Disney, want all your dreams of a white Christmas to come true!  Plus, the temperatures in Florida in December are probably much nicer than where you live.  Only rarely does the nighttime temperature fall below freezing, and during the day you can enjoy the sun and warmth that Florida offers.

The Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle are made of energy efficient LED bulbs, but they magically glow and look like snow or ice.

The Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle are made of energy efficient LED bulbs, but they magically glow and look like snow or ice.

First off, you wouldn’t be spending your holiday in just any theme park; you would be spending it in the most magical theme park on earth – the Magic Kingdom! Also, a theme park at Disney after dark looks a little less park and a little more theme. The Magic Kingdom theme park, for example, comes off as a palace and its quaint surrounding village, shrouded in a blanket of snow and ice, making it a beautiful and serene winter wonderland. You and your family can wonder as you wander at the at those “twinkling lights” you weren’t feeling so fond of earlier – keeping in mind of course, that the Cinderella Castle alone is covered in over 200,000 of them.

The whole park feels like a scene right out if your favorite Christmas movie, filled to the brim with your favorite Disney characters dressed in special wintertime outfits. Some of them you will meet, while others you will watch perform in special holiday shows – and still others pass out hot chocolate and, one of the best parts of the Christmas Holiday, Christmas cookies!

More Magical than the Hallmark Version

You will ultimately say what you want about Disney’s intentions in their efforts to create the perfect combination of the most beautiful ice-kissed castle lighting up the sky over the most festive holiday parade, the evening building to its climax – the most spectacular fireworks display, Holiday Wishes. Regardless of what your feelings about Disney’s intentions are, which evidence to the contrary won’t change anyway – think about the effect with which this holiday spectacular is received.

If you know a man, woman, or child who will not be humbled and awed by this enchanting display of all the good things that the Christmas season has to offer, then you know a Scrooge for sure. Watching this Christmas Party unfold with each surprise, song, and twinkling light alongside your loved ones is a meaningful Christmas experience indeed.

Cinderella Castle still changes color - and just looks a bit more magical at Christmas time with the Dream Lights.

Cinderella Castle still changes color – and just looks a bit more magical at Christmas time with the Dream Lights.

If you have family Holiday engagements that you just can’t escape – try bringing the family engagements along with you. Rather than gathering at so-and-so’s house to exchange gifts and pick at dry turkey or burnt holiday ham, skip all that and come to Disney World as a family. Maybe there will be fewer presents under the tree, but the real gift will be getting to spend such a special holiday together as a family, redefining what the holiday means to you.

If not everyone in your extended family can attend, keep in mind that this holiday celebration of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party doesn’t just take place on the holiday itself, but rather – several nights a week starting November 8th. You have over a month in which you can be part of this Christmas extravaganza in the most magical place on earth!

Not a Christmas Family?

What if your family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, does the parade hold any appeal for you? Of course. This parade is the culmination of all things winter, and all things holiday, regardless of your feelings towards Christmas. Granted, Santa does make an appearance, and many of the costumes sport green and red as their dominant colors, but this Christmas party is a glowing display of holiday cheer and spirit regardless of your denomination. Experiencing a grand parade, eating cookies, and taking in a fireworks show together with your friends and family, says, “family fun” regardless of what and how you celebrate.

Christmas, for some families, really does get reduced to a pile of presents under the tree, a few holiday specials on the TV, and the same holiday conversations over the same holiday meal you have every year. Take a chance this year, and reawaken your holiday spirit! Christmas is as special or routine as you make it. Even if you and your family can’t afford to make Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party your Holiday tradition every year – you will find that changing it up for a year helps everyone make the holiday special again in a lasting way.