The souvenir battle.

Yup, you know the one I’m talking about. Do the kids get one thing? Do they get one thing with their own money? Are parents/grandparents/aunties buying them something special?

And the biggest issue of all…Where do you draw the line?

My advice? You do it the Grandma Ruth way

marie

Souvenirs don’t come until the end of your park trip. Then they will have seen everything there is to see and know what they have fallen Disney head-over-heels in love with. You know exactly what I mean…that one Elsa doll. That ONE stuffed dalmatian. The most awesome lightsaber ever way the heck over in Tomorrowland even though you’re all the way over in Animal Kingdom. THE ONE.

T-shirts, hats, and EARS do not count. That’s like getting socks for Christmas.

We’re talking the special toy they go home with and remember this vacation with forever. Now, here comes the fun part. You need to be sure it is what they want. You need to be super sure. You have them pretty much make up their mind that if they could only get ONE souvenir, what would it be?

Then you go on another ride and act as though you just aren’t sure but you’ll think about it, or it’s too expensive or … well, maybe they should pick something ‘smaller’ or maybe they should wait for the other park.. you get the idea?

Then you find a cast member or spouse or Nana to help. Send this person off to buy that one special something you know they want and will always keep to remember your special Disney trip forever.

In my case? It’s a Marie from the late 70′s, early 80′s. She’s stuffed and well loved and still in my room to this day. She was nick-named ‘Boo Boo Kitty’ by my uncle years ago, because she went everywhere with me. (those of you old enough to remember Laverne & Shirley will understand)

After a long day of eating ice cream and riding Pirates and It’s a Small World our rag-tag bunch of cousins and Aunts and yet even more cousins were settling in to find our spot for the fireworks. Another perfect end to another perfect Disney vacation with Grandma Ruth.

I remember we were near Cinderella’s Castle and I remember we were sitting on one of those benches that wrapped all the way around a beautiful tree or amazingly crafted topiary and my Grandma and I had an odd moment alone…what with all the cousins and cousins and did I mention all my cousins?

Of course she had done some shopping as she tended to do instead of ride the rides with us (unless it was It’s a Small World..that was her jam) and had ice cream in one hand and bags in the other.

I will never forget her pulling the whitest cat with the most perfect pink bow in her hair, the very cat I had been wanting desperately the entire vacation, out of one of those magic Disney shopping bags and gave me a wink and a kiss and made me promise not to tell the other cousins she had gotten me Marie. It was our secret.

It made not only DisneyWorld one of the most magical places on earth for me, but somehow made my Grandmother magical as well.