The night before Christmas, the smell of warm homemade chocolate chip cookies baking for Santa filled the air. Our tree stood so tall and was covered with colorful bows and bright twinkling lights; the fragrance of fresh pine was simply divine. As the bright beautiful sun began to set, I knew that it wouldn’t be too much longer before Christmas was finally here. Bedtime came and so did the rain, but I snuggled in my warm cozy bed and listened to the cold rain drops beat against my window and the blustery wind whistling outside.
I was so sleepy that every yawn made my eyes fill with tears, but I was determined to wait up for Santa this year. Peering through my window, the morning sun began to rise, I jumped up remembering my parents saying that I had been especially good that year. I ran and leaped on my parent’s bed and shook them both so hard. I was so anxious to see what Santa had brought but it seemed like the clock had stopped and time was standing still because we couldn’t get to the living room fast enough.
We finally made it to the living room, the chocolate chip cookies and milk were gone, but the smell of coffee brewing was definitely strong.
I was sure that my eyes were deceiving me because beautifully wrapped presents seemed to be everywhere. I didn’t even know which one to open first. My dad was reclined in his favorite leather chair, sipping on steaming hot coffee from his favorite orange mug and my mom armed with her camera determined to get a picture of my every smile, and out of the blue the doorbell rings! For a split second, all I could think about was who could be visiting us so early in the morning.
I looked up at my mom as she told me to go answer the door. She was trying her best to hide the grin on her face. I ran to the door filled with fear of not knowing who it could be on the other side. I slowly opened the door and peeked through the crack and with great delight, I saw the comforting sight of my grandparents’ faces. I was so excited to see them that I just ran into their arms. I could not wait for them to see everything that Santa had brought me! One by one, finally every present was unwrapped. I was one lucky little boy because Santa had brought me everything on my list.
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I crawled around digging through the wrapping paper and bows that had covered the entire floor to make sure that I had opened all the gifts. I finally cleared a path to the tree and when I looked up, there was a big red envelope hanging on the tree. My name neatly written on the front, I opened it up and it was a card signed with love from my grandparents. As I slowly read it out loud, my eyes filled with tears and I thought I surely had to be dreaming when it told me to look outside because there was a big nice rented van sitting in our driveway with everybody’s luggage already packed inside. The van was just waiting for all of our family to just jump in because we were Disney World bound! The house once tidy and neat now was demolished with paper and bows. We all worked together and cleaned up the mess because we were all so excited to hurry up and go. I was the first to jump in, armed with my favorite new gifts to keep me entertained on this long road trip. I couldn’t stop smiling and my cheeks began to hurt.
Through the curvy country roads and finally to the interstate, I was certain that I would be able to stay awake the entire time. I was glaring out the window looking at the leafless trees as we drove by, my eyes began to become heavy, but I was determined to not miss a single memorable sight. We stopped several times to stretch our legs and to eat our lunch but I was still so excited that I still couldn’t take it all in. Armed with my new game system and the entire back seat to myself, somewhere in Georgia my heavy eyes became too much for me to bare. It seemed like I was only asleep for a few minutes when I heard everyone yelling that we are finally there! The sky now dark but the city was brighter than any Christmas tree that I’d ever seen. We slowly walked into the condo that was going to be ours for the next ten days. The condo was filled with all elegant things, from soft silky sheets to crystal chandeliers and I was just trying to take it all in.
A little boy from such a small town, how was I going to find my way around? We unloaded our luggage and settled in for the night. Bedtime was going to be earlier for us because we were all so exhausted from the long trip. The smell of Daddy’s coffee brewing woke me from my deep sleep. I jumped out of bed eager to see what this magical day would bring. With our best walking shoes on, we made our way to the entrance of Disney World. The castle was perfectly decorated with thousands of multi-colored lights. As we walked throughout the park, I was squeezing my Grandma’s frail hand so tightly out of joy and excitement not wanting to leave her side, so we can experience the moment together.
I couldn’t get over the gift that she had given us. The excitement in her hazel eyes watching us see all the magical things at Disney for the first time was all she really wanted and that made her smile even brighter. She had always dreamed about going to Disney World all of her life and she especially wanted to experience it with all of her family. Unbeknownst to us at the time, Grandma knew her health was failing fast and that God was in need of another angel and it wasn’t going to be too much longer before He needed her to come to her new heavenly home to be with Him. She blessed us not only with her presence, but gave us memories that we will cherish for our entire life. Disney World, a magical place where dreams really do come true.