Watch the video from our family Christmas morning first. It does WAY more than I can put into text…
First, I want to acknowledge the staff at the Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, PA and especially the Sales and Catering Coordinator, Corey Muldoon. He treated us first class and made the planning of our family trip to the Great Wolf Lodge simple. Corey went out of his way to find a sales special that would make our trip affordable and he even shipped us our Wolf & Pup Passes, along with selected Lodge swag, in time for Christmas! To top it all off, the guy literally got married during our planning process and checked in before and after his honeymoon. This gift would not be possible without the creativity and support of the Great Wolf Lodge and their great team. I can’t recommend a stay high enough (and that’s only the staff… wait until you see the Lodge and the water park)!
Secondly, I have to say that our plan to make Christmas gifting an event instead of presents was a colossal success. In previous years, we loaded up the tree and the kids opened boxes in a frenzy and then Christmas was over. They would play with most of the junk for two days or two weeks, and then they would be in the corner awaiting the spring consignment sale. Great investment, right? That’s why we tried this experiment. Would the kids MISS the tree full of boxes and the excitement of Christmas morning IF we could give them a ton of memories instead?
Watch the video. In the spirit of “A Christmas Story“, we hid the Red Ryder BB gun… er, I mean, the 5-day Great Wolf vacation behind the tree. After the other gifts were unwrapped and the kids thought Christmas was over, I asked if they got everything they wanted. They were all happy, but sad that it was over. That’s when I sprung the question, “Hey Ralphie, what’s the gift over there behind the desk?” Ugh! I did it again! I mean. “Kids, what’s that Big Box in the Corner?” The excitement filled the room again and so did something else – a Countdown to the Great Wolf Lodge!
Even though the trip hasn’t happened yet, I can already draw a conclusion to our Christmas experiment:
Memories always outlast plastic.
Along his journey from artist to engineer to entrepreneur, Ken Carfagno became a dad. And like many new dads, his kids inspired a long-forgotten gift. Ken could make up stories and draw his kids into them. This sparked a dream that lead to Dadnamics, the infusion of creativity, adventure, and silliness into dad time. And it lead to the Arctic Land experience.