Thursday, September 30, 2010

Our Grinch Filled Trip at the Gaylord Texan

While I was posting the printables that I made for the Texas State Fair, it reminded me of things that I made for a family trip last December and I thought I would share them with you.

For Christmas 2009 my family and my husband's side of the family all went to the Gaylord Texan. They had a Grinch theme that year and you could "Have Breakfast with the Grinch", wonder through a sculpted ice exhibit with lots of rooms completely filled with scenes from the Grinch, build ginger bread houses, have cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus and just enjoy their wonderful Christmas decorations, carolers and food. Since the hotel was all about the Grinch, I decided to make my very own "Grinch Grand Welcome". Hopefully this will give you some ideas for things to make for your next family trip so that you can decorate your hotel room (or tent) to make the trip extra special.

Here is a Welcome Note that I posted on the different hotel room doors. I had different quotes from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on each door as we had three rooms! The nicest things about posting something on the doors (even if it doesn't have names) is that it helps you to find your room quickly and all the other rooms if you are traveling in a group. Even though we were supposed to have adjoining rooms...we ended up all the way on the other end of the floor and it was nice not having to remember everyone's room number.



Here is what the "Welcome Signs" said:

"Welcome to the Gaylord Texan!"

"The Grinch wants to wish you a Merry Christmas
and remind you that Christmas doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!
So enjoy the time you have while you are here...
how great to spend it with family so dear!"

"The Grinch wants to wish you a Merry Christmas...
so bring your cheer.
Cheer to your family so near and dear.
Christmas Day is in your
grasp so long as you have hands to clasp.
Enjoy your visit...it’s time to start
so be hand in hand and heart to heart!"

"The Grinch hopes your heart grows
three sizes while you are here!"

I also made a Grinch door hanger. Someone in our hotel liked it so much they stole the one I made from my in-laws door.

Next came the footprints! I made a stencil and used baking soda (as it wouldn't harm the carpet) to leave "snow" tracks all over the room where the Grinch walked as he left gifts.



Then came the "welcome banner". This looked much better when I first hung it in the room but I forgot to take a picture and my 3 year old went barreling out onto the balcony and nearly tore it apart. I haphazardly threw it back up to get a picture. I wish this was a better picture...it really was cute when it was originally hung!


Of course the most exciting thing were the gifts that the Grinch left for everyone! In the boxes, I had pajamas, slippers, the Grinch DVD, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" book, and Grinch T-shirts. In the green bags, I had the kids favorite candy treats, Christmas things from the Dollar Stores like crossword puzzles, coloring books, crayons, etc. and autograph books (pictured below). I also found a fun Christmas blanket in Grinchy Green that I left with the gifts. If you decide to do something fun like this for your next trip...buy a super soft blanket, take it to your local t-shirt shop and have them embroider your family/child's name and the date of your trip.




I think tags really make a gift extra special!




These tags said:

"Welcome!
I slipped in to leave
you a welcome surprise
a “Glad You’re Here!”
kind of prize.
So settle in
(and enjoy the goodies too!)
then come downstairs...
there is more to do!
The Grinch"

Here is one of the autograph books that I made for our trip. If you know there are going to be characters on your trip like the Grinch...you can make autograph books so that your kids can get their signatures. Then you can add the autograph pages to your scrapbook. If you aren't computer savvy, you can always use scrapbook paper (preferably card stock weight) or even white card stock and trim it down to 4x6 inches and put it in a small picture album that you can get at Wal-Mart for $1.00.



Now normally you would have mints or chocolates on the pillows but the Grinch decided to leave a Grinchy candy cane on each pillow:


The Grinch also left gift baskets in all of the rooms with wine, water, soda, candy, gold fish, nuts, granola bars, popcorn, hot chocolate packets, etc. and a small Christmas tree:




This is what the tag said:

"For the Robison family, both young and old,
So you can feast, feast, feast!
There are snacks and a few drinks
But no rare Who roast beast.
Open it while you are at the Gaylord
I hope you enjoy it a lot,
Don’t save it for home…
Oh no, do not!!!
While you’re enjoying the fun remember...
Christmas doesn’t come from a store
Because Christmas means
Oh, so much more!!!
It’s not about all of the decorations
Or gift wrapping and presents.
It’s about the birth of Jesus
Oh, how special and pleasant.

Merry Christmas,
The Grinch"

I also made sucker and mint wrappers for each event that we went to so the kids would get to play "Santa" and see the smiles on workers faces as they gave them Christmas treats. Here is a picture of just a few that I made:



I also made invitations for all of the events that we planned to go to like Gingerbread House decorating, the Ice Sculpture Exhibit, Cookies and Milk with Ms. Claus, and Breakfast with the Grinch. These are great to "slide" under the hotel room doors late at night so that your family will find them first thing in the morning to let them know what fun things you have planned that day. They are also fun to add to scrapbook pages! I made similar ones for a Disney trip that we went on and my dad was so impressed with the "concierge" who left nightly invitations. He couldn't figure out how the concierge knew exactly what we were doing each day.


Finally, if you know me...you know that I love to make travel games to keep kids occupied and happy as possible in the car (or plane) on long trips. We traveled a lot across country growing up as my dad was in the army and if we wanted to see grandparents, that meant getting in the car and staying there for at least two days. I can remember reading tons of Nancy Drew Books, playing "I spy" and the "alphabet game" with road signs and license plates, and singing every song imaginable. My parents always tried to make the trip as fun as possible. So now I try to do the same for my family. Here are a few of the Christmas travel games that I made to surprise my nieces and nephew to keep them occupied on our 3 hour road trip to Dallas.



If you have a fun family trip planned and need a few car games or hotel printables contact Paper Perfection at jtanddolly@yahoo.com

I can't use the Grinch or other trademarked images in printables that I design for others for a profit, but I can design printables to match a "Grinch" theme or any theme that you may have for a fun family trip.

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