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There are a few reasons I’ve had to be up before 4 am before [three boys have provided me with most of these] but this month, on a teeth-chatteringly cold Monday morning, there was one reason I wanted to be up.  Not only was I up, but I was defrosting the car and on my way to London by 4.15am, for breakfast at Claridges with my favourite company the whole wide world over, The Walt Disney Company, for a little Disney #GiftMagic

If you’re a long time reader of our blog, you’ll know that we were married in Walt Disney World.  We LOVE everything about Disney.  Since my first visit at 10 years old, I’ve been hooked.  There’s a very large photograph of me, Gav, Mickey and Donald at our wedding reception which hangs on our wall in the living room, and there isn’t a day I don’t daydream back to that moment, nearly ten years ago.

Fast forward nine years and we have three boys, two of whom have been to Disney World – and one of whom I discovered I was expecting the day we got on the airplane for that very trip.  So we tell Hero that he was there, he just couldn’t see anything, ha ha.  We’re planning and hoping to go back for our tenth wedding anniversary – the last time we visited was our fifth anniversary and we took the boys to all of the places we partied at on our wedding day which they loved.

Knowing how much we adore the House of Mouse, imagine my excitement that after only a few days of being invited to party with them for Hallowe’en, I was asked to come to breakfast somewhere I’ve always dreamed of visiting; Claridges.  At 7.45 am, I waited at the crossing for a quick tourist photograph and then quietly tiptoed into what surely has to be the grandest hotel in England. It was breathtaking – and they were beginning to decorate for Christmas.

Inside I was greeted warmly and led upstairs to a room which could be mistaken for no other company breakfast.  Through the middle of the room stood the longest, most exciting Christmas table I’ve ever seen.  Upon each plate was seated a Mickey or Minnie Mouse in Christmas clothing, and behind each Mouse was a beautifully wrapped, glitter-covered gift.  I was taken to my seat to discover I was gifted a MICKEY Mouse [my favourite] and offered a cup of tea and pastries.  I met some lovely people who all love Disney as much as I do, and had the most wonderful time.  It was hard to take it all in, it was just so amazing.

Disney’s message this Christmas is that with every present we give, there should be a little #GiftMagic – it’s the feeling that you have when you receive a gift that’s been chosen with care, and wrapped with love and attention to detail.  It’s the little details that make a person feel extra loved, extra special and cherished.  I couldn’t agree more.

As if that wasn’t enough, after we’d finished breakfast and opened our little boxes on the tables [containing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast ‘Chip’ mugs!], we were handed a box of baubles, socks, pens and notepads – and ANOTHER mug [hooray for my Disney mug collection!] and told that we were going shopping at Oxford Street’s Disney Store – which was CLOSED for us exclusively!  It was quite surreal walking into an empty Disney Store and being able to shop freely without anyone else around – everyone was just so lovely, so helpful and I managed to get quite a few things for Christmas including a pair of Boba Fett PJs for Gav, new sparkly Christmas plates [Frozen!] for the boys…and for me I got some of the gorgeous Beauty and the Beast, ” Be Our Guest” plates and bowls for our table.  Luckily for my poor arms [I know, it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who has so much Disney merchandise that they can’t lift it] the Disney Store had everything delivered to my home the very next morning and so I walked out of the store as light as a feather!

However…. Before I managed to walk out of the store, we were told that we were needed downstairs to meet a special guest.  My heart literally skipped a beat.  I don’t care how old I am – when Mickey Mouse appears, I’m ten again.  It’s like feel-good therapy.  There’s just something about Mickey Mouse that lights up my life, and always will.

mickey mouse #giftmagic

Finally, it was time to go home.  I said goodbye to our wonderful hosts and headed to the tube for the long road home.  Rememeber to spread a little #giftmagic this year, everyone.

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