Christmas 2012

Consider this a recap of everything Christmas/Holiday related from 2012. 🙂

We kicked things off with a visit to the Los Altos Festival of Lights. We arrived right when it started and found decent seats (bring your own chairs!), didn’t have to park too far away, and found the length to be just perfect for T1’s age and attention span.

I pushed for a real tree, but we decided to get a fake one in the end. This one has a bit of a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree vibe, but it was inexpensive and pre-lit with LED and the perfect tree for us at this point in our life. I hope That Husband knows that eventually I want to go down to Santa Cruz and cut a real one down and bring it home!

T1 spent most of his time managing our efforts.

He wanted my dSLR, but it’s far too heavy (and expensive) for him. I let him play with an old point and shoot for a little bit and he loved taking pictures. This is the day that spurred me to buy him a camera for Christmas, which he loves and uses every day!

Baby bump shot courtesy of T1.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, and we knew were were moving to Palo Alto and would have the space to do so, we asked my parents and sister to come down and spend Christmas with us so I didn’t have to travel while pregnant. It was exhausting to host while that far along in my pregnancy, but I don’t regret having them down (and my mom and sister in particular worked really hard to make it as easy on me as possible, which I greatly appreciated).

My family was here for 5 days total, and as soon as we realized how over-the-top the pile of presents was for T1, we started encouraging him to open a few presents a day so he could get through everything. He needed lots of encouragement and was often overwhelmed. I think next year will be the time when he excitedly rips into everything without us pushing him to do so.

The weekend was rainy and gloomy, and so on Christmas Eve we abandoned our previous plans (I wanted to do Christmas Polish-style, with most of the events happening on Christmas Eve) and went up to San Francisco to enjoy Baker Beach and take some family photos with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

This hour or so was the highlight of Christmas for me this year. Playing on the beach (not warm, but not freezing cold either) and watching T1 having the time of his life while we all joined in.

Christmas day we enjoyed an Andersen family tradition, (gluten-free) waffles with strawberries, real whipped cream, syrup, and peanut butter.

Afterward, we opened presents! I was happy to do it during the day so the pictures would be pretty :).

As T1 played with his new toys we worked on dinner. Menu planning for this day was a nightmare because my sister and dad are gluten-free and my mom is dairy-free and I’m not used to preparing for either of those on a regular basis. Thank goodness for the Paleo movement! We were able to come up with a simple menu that didn’t take too long to prepare and left everyone feeling happy and satisfied.

I loved having my family with us (and let’s face it, having some control over what went on during Christmas as it made me feel a little bit more like a grown-up, even though it was exhausting and I definitely don’t want that responsibility every year!) and hope we can make this work again in a few years.

A little secret? I didn’t even miss the snow. Have I become a California girl already?

15 thoughts on “Christmas 2012

  1. Don’t you mean 2012?

    Jenna Reply:

    Again! Apparently I’m not so great at writing recap style posts from 2012 when it’s 2013 🙂

  2. Lovely! Baker Beach is one of my faves, and T1 looks like he is having such fun in every image! What a happy holiday 🙂 I hosted Christmas at my house too for 15 of us, and after the leftovers were in the fridge and guests had left I thought NEVER. AGAIN. Though I am sure it will seem fun again a few years from now haha. I will be out in the Bay first week of March to shoot wedding at the Stanford Park Hotel, if you want to come hang out and wield your camera for a while let me know, it would be great to see you 🙂

    Jenna Reply:

    If my birth is uncomplicated I’ll be very interested in tagging along. I’ll be itching to get out of the house by then. Maybe I can shoot and give you the files as long as I can use them on my site? At some point I need to build up some SEO for the area.

    Kristin Reply:

    Yes for sure! Email me once baby is here and you have a better idea how recovery will go and we can talk details 🙂

  3. That’s so great that everyone was able to come to you! I look forward to the day when we don’t have to go anywhere and family has to come to us. I love being together with family, but the traveling (especially with kids) is kind of rough sometimes. The family pictures turned out great! I love the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. Jealous!!

  4. Loved the post too. BTW, in terms of real Christmas trees, we do have some great lots around here with tradition behind them. Terry’s Trees always sets up on Willow Road, in the school parking. Two guys have been bringing trees down here from Oregon or Washington (I can’t remember) for 20 years. They give kids candy canes, it’s a small business, very nice. Or you can go to Webb Ranch. I think they will, if you’ve got more money than you know what to do with, even come and set the tree up for you!

    Anyway, belated Merry Christmas, and welcome to the best place to live in the whole country:). T2 will enjoy her/himself!

  5. Very sweet pictures & recap – I bet you will be happy to have this to look back on someday! That idea alone makes me want to start a blog of my own 🙂

    How come your sister’s hubby didn’t come along (I remember your covering her wedding, which is the only reason I ask). It must have been hard to spend the holidays apart!

  6. Such nice pics! You seem like you have such a kind, loving family. Had same question as D though re your sis?
    If you’re up to it, please post the recipes for gluten free and dairy free! My best friend is both, and as she’s a graduate student, I try and feed her as much as possible (to help her save some $) and so I’m always struggling as to what to do!
    Loving all these posts Jenna- what an amazing, Transformational year you have had!

  7. What nice pictures! What type of bike does your son have? ( My daughter is close in age to him)
    Does it have training wheels?

    Jenna Reply:

    His bike is called a balance bike. They’re nice because they can focus on learning to balance first, and then worry about pedaling. No pedals, and no training wheels.

  8. Lovely holidays! Lovely family! I’d love the recipes too.

    Is your sister a dancer? She is always so slender!

  9. Girl, you need to fluff those branches out on that tree so they stick out in unnatural ways and fill in all the space. My husband had to school this girl from the country who’s never had a fake tree before!

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