Christmas tree

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree… | The Photo Gallery

It’s been many years since we’ve seen so many Christmas trees in the build up to Christmas. Visiting Disneyland in the festive season was, as you’d imagine, mind-blowing in a sensory overload of lights, baubles, ribbon, glitter and a touch of fake snow – even in sunny southern California – for good measure.

Disneyland California Christmas Trees

It’s also the first time, in well over a decade, that we’ve spent Christmas in the northern hemisphere, with the daylight fading by 5pm. Everywhere we turn there are Christmas lights wrapped around tree trunks, adorning houses and shops. I daren’t think too much of the electricity usage – I just hope the sun is being put to good use with multiple solar panels to channel the light to make the light! There’s certainly enough blue sky days throughout winter to put solar panels to good use.

Disneyland California by day, and by night, was equally magical.

Disneyland Christmas cheer

Our own little Christmas tree, here in Santa Barbara, is missing our collection of adornments from over the years – we left them all in New Zealand – but with a few bits of red and white bling, some lights and a couple of crystals, we are feeling the magic – so much so that Miss 3 told her Grandparents on the telephone, “You will never believe how beautiful our Christmas tree is! Your eyes will pop out when you see it… but don’t worry, I’ll help you find them and pop them back in again.”

So, for my photo gallery this week, and the theme of ‘Christmas Tree’, I am sharing a few of the snaps I took whilst in Disneyland and hope you enjoy a very magical and merry holiday season too!

We have only three sleeps to wait till Grandma & Granddad, my dear folks, arrive! The best Christmas present of all x

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery

Things I’m Loving | A little Christmas sparkle

A little bit of Christmas cheer has picked up our spirits and cast a light on the dark nights of winter. A little Christmas fairy fluttered into the house and sprinkled some magic on the Christmas tree, which will be covered in her little offerings of hand painted snowmen and snow flakes over the days of advent.

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Her shy little smile, hints at mischief too…

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And a twinkle in her eye promises all sorts of fun in the countdown to Christmas and the arrival of special visitors from England – Grandma & Granddad!

She is getting busy with sticky tape and string, so we better be careful where we step!

There’s going to be glitter, glue and lots of baking happening in the house over the next couple of weeks. Just the kind of magic we need to keep us from thinking too much of our home and friends in New Zealand.

With heavy hearts we bid farewell to our NZ friends today, but the wonderful memories will live on and on.

LOVING our New Zealand neighbours being here with us in the USA!

They arrived today! Our wonderful New Zealand neighbours. Our children are ecstatic and it’s magic for us adults to see them all together. Their ages span from three to ten, but all five children (three of them being our crazy girls) are like a little family in their own right. They mix up play between them all and have so much fun together. We have yet to get a photograph of them all together (any attempts are faced with silly faces, ducking behind pillars and under tables, diving under the water or behind a Christmas tree… sigh!).

We left sunny Santa Barbara at 9.30am this morning and arrived in a rainy Disney just after midday. The sight that greeted was beautiful Christmas poinsettias and the biggest, twinkling Christmas tree in the entrance room of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Very magical indeed!

Christmas is BIG at Disney!

Within half an hour of us arriving at the hotel, our dear friends arrived (we’d arranged a limo to pick them up at Los Angeles Airport after their long haul flight from New Zealand).

I was relieved the drive wasn’t as bad as I’d anticipated (imagine the worse and it can only be better – right?!). With only Miss 3 as my passenger in my lovely turbo VW red bug (the other two drove in comfort with their Dad – who I tailed most of the way through LA), it was a surprisingly relaxed drive. She slept half the way, and spent the remaining half of the journey happily taking in the scenery.

Arriving at the hotel

The drive down started with the beautiful coastline south from Santa Barbara towards LA, in glorious sunshine…

Leaving sunny Santa Barbara

– before hitting the outskirts of LA and five lanes of highway in each direction (that’s when I refrained from being a speed demon, leaving my husband to chase my tail, and took time out to follow his tail through the heavier traffic and lane switches to keep us in the right direction for Disney!).

Our first afternoon together has been so much fun and it’s as though we’ve never been apart. Our friends had incredible stamina to stay awake till 10.30pm pacific time here (after not getting much sleep on their long haul from NZ). The children even all managed a swim in the hotel pool at 9.30pm!

I’m now signing off, as this Disneyland stuff takes a lot of stamina (whilst my dear hubbie is still out in the park – with our two eldest daughters – and it’s close to midnight!). He sent this pic and I can’t WAIT to see this with my own eyes tomorrow!

Disneyland castle

Good night from here, sweet dreams and may all your wishes come true!

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Linking this post up with my lovely friend Meghan in Wellington, New Zealand, who really makes the most out of life.