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Relocating Your First Christmas

Where to begin? Well first let’s start with our first Christmas Eve here. It was ok, it wasn’t what I had imagined in my head, which I know better than to have any type of expectation, but it was what it was.  Christmas Eve was spent opening presents from my Mom and Bob, and vice-versa on their end, all while having the video feed on our computer via Skype. The feed wasn’t the best, so I could hear them fine, but the picture was choppy. The tradition of what we have done EVERY Christmas Eve since I have been married was there, just not the best version of it. I know I have touched upon the family aspect of relocating, but you truly have to be prepared for the Holidays.

I surprisingly didn’t shed a tear, I was just overall melancholy about the whole weekend. It felt like I was watching my life, not really living it, and it was just a haze to me.  The no snow wasn’t an issue, although no snow to me means no family, so it does have some meaning.  Seeing it on Main Street last week in the Magic Kingdom made me smile from ear to ear, it felt like home for a small moment. You just really have no clue what feelings the Holidays will bring up, until you are right smack in the middle of them.

Christmas morning came, and it was truly awesome. Nothing like watching your kids open their presents, it’s such a fun feeling to have. Santa had come as well, and both girls were happy with everything they had received. I got my ZAGG cell charger for the Parks, which I needed, and Hubby got a special Imagineer book from WDW.  All was well, and we ate like pigs as we watched the ABC Christmas parade. Yes, we did find ourselves too!

I tried to focus on what blessings God had given me, and not what we all painfully knew was missing.  No drive to Sheboygan, no drive to Door County, and no brother making jokes and laughing about old times. I know, someone out there is thinking “Fly home, or have them fly to you.” Well when we discussed relocating, we knew there would be those who could travel to us, and those who cannot. We didn’t expect people to change their lives for us, but we had hoped SOMEONE would visit us from our families for Christmas.  We were blessed to see them before now, so I have nothing to complain about. But, it still hurt. Lesson learned? For those of you thinking of moving, again, discuss with your families how visiting will work. Leaving it “up in the air” will serve as a catalyst for everyone to put it off and get to it when they can.  Your families need to know that the first EVERYTHING when you move away is critical- it sets the stage for all of the times after and how they will be received.

Maybe it’s why I took everything down the day after Christmas- yup, not one remaining Christmas decoration is to be found anymore. It’s not that it was a horrible Christmas, I just had had enough and felt that the New Year is a time for cleaning up our home and preparing for the future.

Due to vehicle issues, we couldn’t make the Christmas service we had hoped to with our friends.  It didn’t stink, it sucked. Just getting a taste of the worship choir at Epcot made me miss my Church and Choir so badly, and I knew that missing church on Christ’s birthday would be painful. For most they can miss a service and not feel anything, but for me it is literally food for my soul and my sanity.  So as soon as we get everything done with the car, my main goal is finding a Church home this January.

Which leads me into the New Year thinking… what’s next for the Petermanns? Well, it’s a lot more reality. Yeah, I know, reality isn’t any fun- that’s why we all love Disney, right? Well, it’s the Relocated Tourist, not the Disney Tourist, so in the year of 2012 we will be focusing on life moving forward here. What does that mean? You will still get your dose of Disney from us, but we also will be reporting on schools, stores, doctors, dentists, getting your license from a teen point of view, college time, and how virtual school is going for Emily.  My oldest baby is wrapping up her Senior Year this coming 2012, so I have a lot to get her ready for. On top of the fact we really want to get Emily into a Charter School next year,  so a lot of research and time will be spent on the lot.

If you want to contribute to the blog, there are many ways to do so. Fridays with Friends, Inspearationals, and more give you, our readers, a voice in saying who you are, why you love Disney, and how you know us. Check it out on this blog at the top on the tabs.

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and we will be chatting again before New Years, God bless each and every one of you!


  1. Sorry you are missing family. The new year will keep you busy for sure. We look forward to hopefully meeting up with you at WDW in October!


  2. Sorry for your sadness.You can certainly feel sad in a crowd-here’s to better days. Love your blog and spent lots of time xmas night watching your videos-thank you for sharing.


  3. I’m glad you can b so honest about it Amy, life is’nt always wonderful, I was dreading this Christmas, my mum is very ill & had only finished radiotherapy on 23rd Dec, so was feeling terrible, but on the other hand my DD is only two, so I wanted to enjoy every moment of her happiness, it was hard this year, their were lots of tears, but we tried to make the most of it. Could u not go home year? So many ppl need to have their family close at Christmas, I’m sure your not alone!


  4. I know what it is like to have a “different” celebration this year. A thirty+ year family tradition for us changed this year. Our celebration was different but fun and special in it’s own way. You do what you have to do.
    As an educator I am really looking forward to reading about your girls’ experiences with school, college, and virtual school. I know those areas have been challenging at times this year.
    Best wishes for 2012!!


  5. As always thanks for the truthful post. I am always looking forward to what you will post next. I watched all the Christmas vlogs you posted and loved them all. I know we never met, but I talk about you and your family at home almost daily and I always refer to you as my friends in Florida. Next time we are down there we will have to meet up. Well I hope you are able to shake your sadness soon. 2012 will be a great year for the Petermann’s! And I for one can’t wait to read all about it. God Bless you all!


  6. Very good Blog Amy. You are giving both aspects of the relocation which everyone needs. Though it’s exciting to be so close to disney – it comes with challenges too. Keep up with these blogs – it’s good to know your feelings and opinions for those who are contemplating the move. Family is important and I am very close with my family also – so moving can be a challenge – though people can visit you it’s not the same – they are no longer an hour away or 5 minutes and at no expense. Now there is expenditures involved, planning and changing of their traditions etc. Good blog Amy!!!! Once you find a Church home things will feel a little more settled. Have a blessed day!


  7. God Bless you and your family Amy. Being a disabled military veteran I know the feelings of being away from family during Christmas and other hoildays. My parents are both gone now and I feel lost at times as well. All I have to do is see the look on my childrens faces at Christmas and I am reminded that I am starting traditions now and my loved ones are always with us, looking down and smiling.

    Dizneydad Paul, Indiana


  8. Thank you for your honesty, Amy. Know that you are loved by your family and friends. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you and your family. 2012 should hopefully be a great year for the Petermann’s. God bless you, Amy 


  9. This was our second Christmas away from our families in Minnesota. Then I realized next year my Mom will be in Florida so all the childhood Christmas traditions that I knew of are coming to an end…and I missed the last year we had them. That hit me hard. I don’t think being away from family on Christmas will ever be easy, but like you, we make the most of what we have together and when we are able to visit family. We, thankfully, were able to swing a trip back to Minnesota to visit just after Christmas (we are there now!), so we are just celebrating a bit late. 🙂 But I know that won’t be the case every year. And I couldn’t agree with you more on figuring out the “visiting plans”. I doubt any family will visit us in NYC, but we do purpose ourselves to come back twice a year and everyone can look forward to those times. They are BUSY and CRAZY and we don’t get to see everyone, but it’s the best we can do…and that’s all anyone can expect.

    Hugs to you during the holidays, I know exactly how you are feeling. It’s bittersweet. Your dream is realized, but there is sacrifice. And sometimes sacrifice just plain sucks.

    I look forward to hearing about “real life” stuff too!


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