I have a confession. I am a crafter. Yes, I said it. I make things.

Naturally, as an admitted crafter, I allowed my mind to start to wander a bit after booking another Disney Cruise… “Well, what if…maybe…I tried the Fish Extender ‘thing’ this trip?”

“I CAN MAKE ALL THE THINGS!” came the response from my ADHD brain, with 7 projects already in progress.

Fish Extender Disney Cruise

Before I knew it, I began to agree with what ADHD told Rational Brain. “It’s only 4 days, right? If I choose a group with 5 Staterooms, that’s only 20 gifts. I can do that!” An instant prior to Rational Brain convincing me that a cruise without joining an FE group was still a great cruise, ADHD signed me up.

Mind you, my fellow excitable Disneyphiles, I have never participated in this gift exchange before. I was foolish for not insisting that ADHD check facts on HOW this works before diving in and committing myself (and my daughter-in-law and kid sister) to the program. In essence, ADHD and I dove in headfirst without checking the deck 11 pool depth.

Well, here I am. Me, excitedly optimistic ADHD, unhappy Rational Brain, and our commitment. Might as well get started, right? I mean, November is still a few months off, but ADHD has a way of convincing Rational Brain that there are chickens that need tending after on the internet or the lawn won’t water itself at 2 AM.

Of course, now was the time to research. I started planning the gifts that I could make – after a solid 4-hour binge on Pinterest and Google. A new board of FE gifts on Pinterest and a dozen screenshots on my phone and I am ready to go!

I chose customized games, hand warmers in the shape of Mickey’s body parts, first aid kits, luggage tags, a pillowcase project maybe? Seems doable. No sweat. I’m a crafter, remember?

Then I realized exactly how many I needed to make. One for each person in the Stateroom. I did the math. That’s 17 people total per day, 3 of which are under 3-years-old, a teenage girl, and a boy my middle grandson’s age. Four-day cruise. That’s 68 gifts. *deep breath* Alright…still doable…

Day one. Cut out all the hand warmers. Stitch all the hand warmers. All 51 of them.

Day two. Make a frantic trip to the store for a 10lb bag of rice because all you have is instant, which does NOT work. Fill and close all the hand warmers. *whew* Finished! Rational Brain has decided this may not be too hard after all.

Disney Cruise Fish Extender


Day Four. I am ready to go! I parked myself in front of the computer and began looking for templates for games to customize and print. Did you know that there are precisely zero downloadable customizable games? (I do, now.) I spent the entirety of day three making stuff up and turning it into the things I wanted. I printed, copied, cut, pasted, and laminated until I glued my finger to a piece of cardstock and gave up for the night. Days four and five consisted of repeating the process of day three.

Disney Cruise Fish Extender

It was at this point that I had forgotten about the other two days’ worth of gifts after five solid days of brain numbing repetition. ADHD woke up at 4 AM in a panic over it and insisted we make a trip to the store. Rational Brain insisted this was a bad plan and that later in the day would suffice.

Day six. First aid kits turned into ice packs and making all the tags for the bags with cute sayings and our Stateroom number on them. Day seven followed with gluing, cutting, pasting and more laminating.

I am now on day 7. ADHD is starting to agree with Rational Brain and is looking for something else to do. There was a heated argument over the merits of draining a bank account and giving up on the projects being handmade, but we are committed, these brain meats and me. And honestly? Things look pretty neato!

So far, I have completed three full days’ worth of gifts for the FE exchange. I can do this. I have lists of what goes where and to whom, I have bags full of completed things, and I only have two days’ worth of gifts left to figure out in three-ish months. Rational Brain has convinced me to relax and enjoy this.

I have come to discover that ADHD isn’t that wrong…even if Rational Brain hates it. Sometimes, you just have to jump in with blind faith and do the thing.

*holds nose and jumps into the deck 11 pool*

The author of this article is a frequent Disney Cruise Line Guest and client of Living With The Magic Vacations!

Share This

Share this post with your friends!