Merry Christmas to you all! Today is the perfect day for me to share my absolute favorite memory with you, and let you know what TRULY motivates me to do what I do everyday!
I can’t remember when it started, but one year when I was very young my parents started the tradition of planning a weekend, no matter where we lived, to drive to Dallas, Texas for a fun weekend of Christmas shopping for the family. Now on the surface, this sounds rather commercial, but it was truly a magical weekend.
We would start by packing the car with our luggage and our two Christmas cassettes – The Christmas Album and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir It’s Christmas. I have great memories of falling asleep in the back of the car while listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Joy to the World.
When we arrived in Dallas, we would head straight for Prestonwood Mall aka Prestonwood Town Center in Addison. Prestonwood Mall was unfortunately torn down in 2004 just after I moved to Dallas, but back then it was a great huge fun mall. I remember random things like a guy on a motorcycle with a Santa hat pulling up beside us as we pulled into the mall, or the random “fur is murder” picketers outside one year.
Our agreement was that my dad and I would shop together and my mom would go shop on her own, then we would meet up later. In this way, we could get my mom’s gift, and she could get ours. However, after we split up we would immediately run into each other again because we all had the same thing on our minds – Neiman Marcus’s epicure shop! Their epicure shop was full of free samples of candies, cakes, all the little things we desired after a long drive. So we would laugh at seeing each other there, and then split off once again to do our shopping. Prestonwood Mall had an amazing massive clock that was one of its defining features, essentially one of the pillars of the building inside was a huge grandfather clock.
After a full day of driving and shopping we would head over to the Doubletree Hotel to check in and relax a bit before dinner. As soon as we checked in, we would get the famous Doubletree cookies free to every guest. The Doubletree was located right in the middle of Dallas and always had lots going on inside. I even recall one year being there for Halloween and there being a haunted house inside the lobby. They always had a fantastic breakfast buffet.
Once we were freshened up and relaxed, we would head out to The Magic Time Machine for dinner. The Magic Time Machine in Addison is a family restaurant that was originally a schoolhouse. It looks perfectly normal on the outside, but on the inside you quickly realize this isn’t like any other restaurant. All the waiters and waitresses are dressed up as characters, from Superman to Waldo to Cinderella, and the tables are hidden inside things like giant pumpkins, crayons, and other unique items. The salad bar is a salad car, which you are walked to in song by your waiter, as you are any time you wish to use the restroom. If your party is large enough you can order a feast they call the Roman orgy, and a whole team of wait staff sing it to your table. I remember one year when Superman served us, but I questioned his authenticity so he got up on a table and jumped off, cape flourishing.
The next day we had our breakfast buffet and went to the Galleria mall, a truly impressive four story mall with a massive four story Christmas tree in the middle surrounded by an ice skating rink. We would go up to the third story coffee shop and sip on hot chocolate while watching the skaters skating around the Christmas tree. Then we would walk around the mall, going into Macy’s to shop, enjoying seeing the festive families getting all their presents and sharing their Christmas cheer.
Once we were done shopping we would pack all our gifts in the car and hit the road, listening to Christmas music all the way back home. We still had Christmas itself to look forward to, family to visit, much to look forward to, but this yearly trip to Dallas was always a magical special family time for us.
That’s why, after my parents passed away, I decided that being a health & fitness coach and helping people be fit and healthy would always be a part of my life. I want everyone out there to have the great family experiences and create as many family memories with their parents that they can, since that part of my life is gone. If I can be a small part of helping others create these special moments and memories, like the ones that mean so much to me, then that makes each Christmas, and every holiday, that much more special to me.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may you and your family have many more magical family memories for years to come!