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?