This past weekend was Thanksgiving and with its passing it ushers in the holiday season and all of its magic. For the first time in years my whole family was able to decorate our tree and home together. As we were decorating we were reflecting on this year and how even with the challenges we’ve faced, we are very fortunate. We started talking about how we could help make this season a bit more magical for others not as fortunate. Over the years we have collected many wonderful and magical holiday items, but as time has passed some of their magic has faded for us. We remembered donating some Christmas things last year to a local charity and how the person at the drop off area got so choked up he could hardly help us unload the car. We all knew we needed to go through our decorations and donate them as soon as possible so that others might find the magic in them we once saw. This started me thinking of how we could share not just holiday magic with others, but Disney holiday magic.
Over the years my office has had a toy drive to donate toys to Toys for Tots. My daughter and I would go out each year and buy some toys. We would always go to the Disney Store and pick them out. We figured she loved the toys there, so other kids would too. It was always so much fun buying those toys. Until recent years I had no idea of Walt Disney’s connection to the foundation. I should have guessed it though. Toys for Tots has been around since 1947 and has served tens of thousands of children in need over the last 64 years. In 1948, Walt Disney and his animators designed a logo for Toys for Tots that is still used to this day. They were also the creators of the first poster used and distributed to promote awareness of the foundation. In the years since Disney has continued to support the foundation in various ways including financial donations, cast member toy drives, public service announcements and this year’s “Cuddliest Christmas Tree”. The tree is twenty feet high and made of 1,200 Duffy Bears decked out with a Santa hat and matching holiday sweater. These Duffy Bears will be donated to the central Florida chapter of Toys for Tots.
If you would like to help spread a little magic with a toy donation to Toys for Tots yourself you can visit their website https://toysfortots.org to find a local collection area. If you would like to donate to Toys for Tots, but are unable to donate toys this year you can also use your Disney Movie Rewards points. For 100 points Disney Movie rewards will donate a toy or DVD for those point and match it. This can be found in the reward section and is available until December 18 and you can make this donation up to five times.
Another way we as a family like to share a little holiday Disney magic is by taking treats to others. We used to bake goodies, but since becoming gluten free the opportunity to bake all day has lost its appeal. Now we like to make rice krispie treats shaped like Mickey heads. I bought a cookie cutter from Mickey’s Pantry a few years ago at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World. We even dip the ears in chocolate for extra yumminess. It’s always so much fun to see the delight on peoples faces both young and old when they are given a plate of these treats.
At times I have felt that all of the hustle and bustle of the season has unapologetically steamrolled the magic out of the holidays. I really hope that during this holiday season we can all slow down and let our inner child out in a way we usually save for a Disney park. The holidays can be such a magical time and I know many of you have your own way of sharing Disney magic at the holidays and would love to hear about them. Feel free to post them in the comments section below this post. I’m excited to read about what you and your family do. Wishing you all a pixie dusted Chanukah and Christmas!