Christmas at Disney’s Grand Californian

In the past, my Christmas season would be a stress filled blur of constant shopping trips and trepidation over getting the perfect gift for everyone. The season would end and I would feel like it had never happened. One year I came to the realization that I was going about it all wrong. Christmastime shouldn’t be stressful. It should be filled with happiness and laughter and love. I resolved to change my ways. I would eliminate the stress of present shopping and instead indulge in the joy of the season.

I’m happy to say I did just that. Now, I finish my shopping by Thanksgiving. I focus on one thoughtful gift for each of my loved ones and leave it at that. They don’t expect the world and I don’t need to try to give it to them. Instead, I now focus on simply being present during the holidays and spending meaningful time with those I cherish.

My family and I love to immerse ourselves in Christmas atmosphere and one of the best places to do that is Disneyland. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the priciest so instead of going to the park we head to the Grand Californian.

Grand Californian

The Grand Californian is adjacent to the park and the nicest hotel at the resort. With its Arts and Craft style it’s a cozy place to visit on any occasion and at Christmas time it pulls out all the stops.


Just look at that tree! It’s so beautiful. So much so that I’m willing to ignore the fact that’s it’s artificial which normally is a big no no in my book. And who’s that sitting next to it? Santa – the big guy himself. I wanted to pay him a visit but he took a break before I could tell him what I wanted for Christmas.


Instead I contented myself with admiring the tree and enjoying my surroundings. During the holidays, a bar is set up in the lobby serving hot cider, cocoa and cookies. I grabbed a drink and found a free rocking chair by the fire.


My family and I sat around its warmth and enjoyed each others company. We chatted, drank cider and listed to the sounds of a live trio singing carols. It was a truly enjoyable experience.


After getting nice and toasty we headed back into the lobby to check out the other big attraction – the gingerbread hotel.


A gigantic replica of the Grand Californian it’s made of edible gingerbread. Beautifully detailed it was made in house by the pastry chef. It was lots of fun to look at but my heart belonged to tree. Filled with beautiful decorations it really put me in the Christmas spirit.


I really love this time of year.

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