My kids finished school this week in a blur of carols, cards, and candy canes.
For our family that means one thing: Christmas holidays! Six long, lovely weeks.
When I was a kid, Christmas holidays meant sucking ice to keep cool, lying on my tummy with the dog and/or cat, and watching cricket with my brothers. In the morning and later afternoon, I playing cricket in the backyard, or tennis out the front with my brothers. Or went biking, yabbying, walking my dog to visit my Nana.
We generally got two weeks away somewhere too. It was never anywhere posh, but it was fun.
For years, we rented a holiday house in Hervey Bay from friends who owned it. It still had an old-fashioned dunny - out-house - sitting under a mango tree. I was always terrified of using the thing, dodging snakes and cane toads and worrying that one would climb up and bite me on the bum! Hervey Bay was the first place I ever tried soft serve ice-cream, and it was often an after dinner treat. It was also the first place I ever used a shower. (We had a bath at home, and showers were considered fancy).
There were sandflies and mosquitos, and long days at the beach. Dad would squeeze the mangos by hand to make home-made mango ice-blocks. I tried not to think about the thunderbox while eating them. The mangos clearly. Obviously, I did not eat thunderboxes.)
In later years, we often caravanned, which was a little piece of hell, given the six of us were sharing a four-berth van. Some years we took the family dog along as well. No air-conditioning, no TV and one father and two brothers meant many stinky, sleepless nights.
Dad didn't like Mum and my sister and I going to the loos in the middle of the night, so he had special bucket for us to pee in. It was his job to empty it the next day, which would always make me giggle. I still remember the noise the sound of someone peeing in it made, and I still believe my brothers also used the wee bucket, because sometimes it was almost overflowing by morning!
The upside of caravanning was we got to holiday at great spots. On the esplanade by the Maroochy River. On the beach at Mon Repos beach, where we'd go out late at night to watch the turtles lay their eggs.
Gorgeous. My days were spent swimming, walking the beach, and reading as many books as I could lay my hands on.
The one thing we never get in Queensland for Christmas is snow. (Even though, as a child, I prayed and bargained and wished my hardest for a White Christmas. Let's face it: I still do).
So you can imagine how intrigued I was by an invitation to Warner Bros. Movie World's first ever Christmas Wonderland experience.
Held over eight magical nights at Movie World, the White Christmas events include snow falling on Main Street, a spectacular display of one million fair lights and an enchanting ice-skating show performed by Looney Tunes characters in true Movie World style.
Sadly, I didn't have my kids the night Movie World had their media preview, so we didn't get to review the experience for you.
But my spies tell me Movie World's Christmas Wonderland is awesome. And guess what? The name of Movie World's general manager is Bob White! Love it!
“The Movie World White Christmas event is like nothing we have ever done before," says Mr White. "The park will be transformed into a magical Christmas wonderland with a dazzling Christmas Parade full of colour and light, all under a glistening white snowy sky."
And of course, there will be loads of other family entertainment as well: Rides, Christmas Carollers, a special Polar Express 4-D screening and of course Santa Claus.
The White Christmas evenings began on Thursday December 9, and continued yesterday, and will continue tonight and tomorrow night. From then on they will run on Thursday 16 December, Friday 17 December,
Saturday 18 December, and finally Sunday 19 December.
White Christmas tickets are $39.99 for adults, children and pensioners. For the best value theme park pass including one free entry into White Christmas, purchase a VIP Pass* for just $99.99 and receive unlimited entry to Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild until June 30, 2011.
Visit myfun.com.au for more details.