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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Holiday Traditions

Uploaded: Dec 6, 2019
As our kids grow up it’s fun to see which holiday traditions stick. Here are some of our current favorite holiday traditions that I hope will stay in our family for years to come:

1. The Holiday Caltrain: It is crowded, dark and cold, but I truly enjoy seeing the Caltrain lit up with Christmas lights and hearing Christmas carols.

2. Seeing the decorations at Stanford Shopping Center. It’s nice to say hi to Santa on a weekday morning when there can be little to no line. We also love seeing the huge Christmas tree. And, this year, standing in the large ornament was a fun way to kick off the holiday season.

3. The American Girl Store: Our girls enjoy checking out the American Girl Store during the holidays. From their Christmas tree to their fancy holiday dresses, there is always something new to check out

Gingerbread houses
: I enjoy making gingerbread houses for our kids out of graham crackers and frosting. It takes some patience to break the cracker correctly, but if you buy extra, you can make a handful without too much frustration.

5. Christmas Tree Lane: We’ve enjoyed our yearly stroll down Christmas Tree Lane with the kids. Now that they’ve seen it repeatedly, I enjoy hearing our older two talk about the different houses and their favorite decorations.

6. Decorations and a tree: I love getting out our ornament collection year after year and hanging our favorites on the tree. We keep our fragile ornaments stored away so the kids can have fun decorating our tree themselves without worrying about anything breaking.

7. Homemade gifts and cookies: Every year the kids help me make at least a handful of gifts for relatives. We also enjoy making Christmas cookies to share with family, friends and teachers.

8. Advent calendars: In the past I’ve filled an advent calendar with stickers for the kids. This year we’ve decided to try out a couple Lego and Playmobil advent calendars. It’s a fun (but sometimes long) countdown to Christmas.

9. Christmas Carols: I have a handful of favorite Christmas songs that I sing with our kids year after year. Sometimes before bed. Sometimes while we drive to school. Sometimes dancing in the living room. It’s a simple way to cheer everyone up.

10. Christmas stories: I love reading Christmas stories to our kids. I still have some books that my parents read to me as a child. I’ve also bought some for our kids. And also borrow the rest of our Christmas books from the library. It’s fun to find new favorites to read together.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Bethlehem AD, a resident of another community,
on Dec 9, 2019 at 5:36 pm

If you can come just a little way up the Peninsula you will find a wonderful reenactment of the first Christmas in Redwood City. Web Link On Dec. 21, 22 and 23, between 6 and 9.30 there will be a walk through production that is entirely free. There will be over 350 costumed characters as well as many animals. There will be angels on high, Roman Soldiers, the Magi, King Herod, Tax Collectors, Census Takers, Market People, children learning their lessons at the Synagogue school, folk dancers, the Inn where there is no room, shepherds watching their flocks by night, villagers, sheep, goats, camels and chickens all of course before the Manger scene with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus.

This has been a family tradition for 27 years and is fun for all ages, all faiths, all backgrounds. It is a walk through experience that takes place for 3 1/2 hours. Lines are shorter after 8.15. It is all free and tells the story of the first Christmas in a very hands on manner.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Dec 9, 2019 at 7:34 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Bethlehem AD - Thank you for the suggestion! How wonderful to have a family tradition going for 27 years.

Posted by Bethlehem AD, a resident of another community,
on Dec 23, 2019 at 9:36 am

We hope you have time to put this on your Christmas calendar this year. If you have forgotten, tonight is our final night for this year. 1305 Middlefield Road, Redwood City. 6 - 9.30 pm. A good place to park is the Kaiser garage on Veterans Blvd where there is a free shuttle to the event.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Dec 23, 2019 at 9:59 am

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Bethlehem- Thanks for the parking tip. We won’t be able to make it this year, but will definitely keep it in mind in the future.

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