Before I delve into all the budget planning for the coming year, I want to tell you about a special family day we had this month. For me, wealth is being able to have family experiences that can be enjoyed without fear of a credit card bill the next month. I will gladly go without a fancy car or designer purse to save for special outings. My part-time job provides funds for our “wants.”
Every Christmas season we try to have a family day, such as going to the Nutcracker. My husband is a peach about going where his girls want to go. This year we went to Chicago for the all-out American Girl experience and holiday tea at The Peninsula Hotel. My daughter had intended to get the doll Molly as a Christmas present, but she was retired and sold out! We were stunned but ‘Saige’ was the choice after a LOT of deliberation.
The Peninsula Hotel is very walkable from American Girl place. We tried to make a reservation in early October and they were already booked! They added another seating and we lucked into a reservation. The Peninsula is elegant, yet comfortable. They offer a children’s tea along with the regular tea menu. Gluten-free is also an option. A wonderful thing about afternoon tea is the relaxed pace, which is usually elusive when you are used to dining with children.
When you walk the streets of Chicago with a doll, you meet other doll lovers of all ages, races, and walks of life. They all are eager to get a closer look, and know the doll’s name. I tried to savor the experience, knowing that in the US, American Girl dolls are kind of the last stop in girlhood before the pre-teen years come knocking. Three years from now American Girl will seem as far away as the days of Elmo and Cookie Monster do now.
If you are up for a little humor, see what happened when Conan O’Brien visited American Girl Place!