Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas 2011 highlights

Merry Christmas!
Christmas was fun this year... Instead of the usual single day celebration around Dec 25th, we celebrated it for almost a month.


 We kick started the Christmas preperations right after thanksgiving with our homegrown Christmas tree.  This is how the tree looked in the beginning...
And this is the Christmas tree in the Union Square, San Francisco. What better place to start Christmas shopping than Macy's in Union Square...


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One of the main reasons I like December is that everywhere I look, there are festive decorations. The malls and the stores are all decked up in decorations. This picture is from Macy's. One more thing I love about Macy's is that they have mailboxes for Santa as well as stationary and my kids loved writing letters to Santa there.




And this year Santa made not one or two, but several trips to our house. The first trip brought a new TV... because it was clear to us that after serving us for 12 years, our old TV needed a retirement...



Christmas is not just about "getting gifts", it is also about giving... The kids donated to charities like "Second Harvest food bank" and "Akshay Patra" and leanred about helping others...


Among other highlights of the month were the winter performances in kids' schools. This is Reya's class performing.
 And this is Rithik's class performing in their "winter wonderland" themed classroom...



Christmas is also a time to make and follow family traditions. Our family has a tradition of driving different routes to home each day to see the best decorated homes of the area... We saw over 1000 decorated houses this season... Thanks Reya for keeping a count of the unique houses...


The gifts from Santa started arriving 3 days before Christmas starting with some Xbox kinect games... Dance Central 2, Kinect sports 2 and Disneyland adventures.... honestly this special delivery was made by Santa to help Mom survive the 2 week school break of the kids... Thanks Santa ;-)



2 days before Christmas, we visited San Jose downtown for the annual "Christmas in the park"... Talk about traditions... this was the 32nd year for the festival and 4th visit for us.

That night the kids got a visit from their Chacha - Chachi (Uncle, Aunty) and their darling cousin Karisma... the baby of the family... Rithik packed and decorated Karisma's gift himself.... baby feeding utensils from "Hello Bebe" line of Lock & Lock.





And Karisma loved them... She started playing with them right away as her mom contemplating keeping the soup mug for herself... the funny thing is that I was tempted too...









Kids and I loved the handmade chocolates and cupcakes that Arzoo chachi made with so much love... They were really yummy... Thanks Arzoo and Kirti...

And finally Christmas arrived and along with other gifts, came the most awaited gifts... woolen animal hats and colourfull socks... who knew it was so easy to make kids happy this year...






We celebrated the day of Christmas with my other brother-in-law and his wife who treated us to an itallian lunch... Thanks Anubhav and Sangeeta! Like I said before... this was a fun Christmas.






And at the end of it all, I had 2 very merry elves...


Wishing you a very happy Holidays and best wished for 2012... see you next year!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Awesome Christmas lights display

It's the season to be jolly! Christmas is here...

And it's the season of lights.... everywhere we go, there are malls and houses decked with Christmas lights and Reya and Rithik have so much fun marvelling at the displays...

We try to take different car routes each day while coming home so that they can see different houses each day. Reya is maintaining a count of distinct houses that have good decorations and today she crossed 600 mark...

I wish I could share all 600 houses with you, but here is a video of a display of lights from year 2009. The house belongs to Jana and Bob Barnhill who I know through my days in Toastmasters. It is a long video, but it is truely amazing. I cannot imagine how long it took to create this display.


Christmas Card 2009 from Sutton McKee on Vimeo.

Have fun watching it.... and Happy Holidays to all of you from Reya and Rithik.
Until next time,
Shilpa, Reya and Rithik