One of the hardest parts about living in California is being so far away from family for the holidays. Since we moved out here in 03, we haven't been home for Thanksgiving once. We were lucky enough to go home for Christmas for the first two years....then we both got promotions and the retail schedule is unforgiving. We went home the Christmas before I got pregnant. It was the first time we had been back east for the holidays in 2 years. Last year we didn't go because I was too pregnant, and I just squeezed my baby shower in Ohio in before the cutoff flying date.
We talked about going there for this Christmas, but nixed the idea early on. Traveling with a baby has proved difficult. We weren't so thrilled about the idea of traveling with him during the busiest time of the year. Plus it's cold. Cold and freezing, traveling with a baby during the busiest time of the year. Hmmm, yeah...no thank you.
Anyway, Ben and I have our new traditions that we have started for our family. It was really important to us. The first Christmas we were out here alone was hard. And it forced us to make the holidays ours. We want to make this holiday special for Isaac, even though he won't really remember until he gets older.
Every year, I go see the Nutcracker ballet with my friend K. The SF ballet company is amazing, and the Opera House is absolutely stunning.
I bake Christmas cookies for friends. Last year was the first year that I didn't get to, again because of moving and baby showers. Usually I make alot. I think my record is um....21 kinds. in 2.5 days. This year, I did only 8 and that was enough. Isaac helped. He sat in his high chair or jumperoo and supervised.
We got Santa paper for Isaac's presents from Santa. I remember this from when I was a little girl. the presents from Santa were always in different paper, decorated with some image of Santa.
I started making Isaac a stocking. It isn't finished (umm, mom FAIL), but it is quite extensive. I haven't embroidered in YEARS and there are beads and sequins...oh my. Regardless, he still has a stocking and now I know for our next child to start en utero.
We have breakfast together. Usually cinnamon rolls, but tomorrow it's macademia nut pancakes and sausage.
We bought one of those recordable storybooks. Ben and I alternated reading pages. We gave it to Isaac tonight and he loved it. He was enthralled by our voices and turning the pages to make the recordings start. We will have him read it every Christmas with us.
We started Isaac's ornament collection last year. I made train ornaments for shower favors and he will have one of each color. This year I added a Handy Manny ornament. We will make him a first Christmas ornament tomorrow.
Some of these traditions are old, from our families. Some of them we came up with. Either way, we are excited to have these traditions for our new family. We are excited to celebrate our first Christmas as parents with our vibrant little boy.