Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Holiday Sparkles!

Babies and traditions go hand in hand. When babies are born old traditions are continued and new ones are created in the family. Since Talinn, we've reinforced each of our childhood traditions and started new ones that I hope will remain favorites for years to come. Lots of magical holiday lights have been a part of Talinn's holidays every year. We've enjoyed them each year with family and friends. Apart from our usual haunts, we did a few extras this year... wanna see?San Carlos Holiday Street
The most wonderful time of the year seems that much more special on this favorite street. It was the day Anoushka pie came over to spend the entire day playing with Talinn. They played a lot with Talinn fighting a bit (mostly due to his refusal to share). And of course, they had a pajama party that afternoon - meaning lots of movies and snacks in bed. Exactly what wintry afternoons are good for huh? On a side note, Talinn claims that Anoushka's his "girlfriend" while she proclaims to the world that she has a baby brother named Talinn. Hari V. thinks it's up to Talinn to change her mind! Anyway, no matter what they call each other, fact is they had a grand time together ogling at the holiday twinklies. Oh and I can't believe it was cold enough for Talinn to keep his cap and mittens on! It was either the cold or his buddy's good influence.Any guesses for who won the popularity battle between Santa and the Grinch? The Grinch, of course. But shhh... we won't tell dear old Santa lest he decides to skip our house on Christmas Eve! Oakland Zoo Lights
This year, Annu maasi accompanied us to see the holiday lights at the Oakland Zoo. The lights display itself was not too impressive but the biting cold was even more distracting to be able to enjoy much general. We strolled around the lights area quickly (the animals were all away in their enclosures) and hurried to the rides where Talinn got a thrill cold notwithstanding.Build-a-Bear with Nathan Anna
Talinn and Nathan anna created their holiday critters at the build-a-bear factory. Nathan anna made a football bear while Talinn chose (most reluctantly) to make his girl friend cheerleader.
Talinn was in no mood to make or care for the bear. But he did get into the spirit later when we got to bathing and brushing the bear. And of course anything to do with using a keyboard. The bear has been forgotten since. I'll bring it out a few months later to see if she gets lucky enough to receive some TLC.
Vasona County Park
Another tradition each year is the drive through holiday lights at Vasona County park. We got lucky due to the weather. A rainy day precluded the mad rush and we magically had no wait at all. The rains had abated just in time to allow us to roll down the windows, blast the holiday music radio channels and enjoy the displays. The highlight of Talinn's ride was that he was allowed to sit in the front seat on my lap during the ride.San Jose Downtown Festival
The surprise find this year was the Holiday Lights Festival in San Jose downtown. We've never taken Talinn there before and that will change from here on. The park is a treat for kids and adults. It truly feels like Christmas strolling through the magnificent vignettes created around charming Christmas themes like the Nutcracker or Santa's elves busy at work manufacturing toys and ornaments. Talinn was also thrilled with the intermittent (fake) snow falling down to add to the winter wonderland atmosphere.The favorite part of Talinn's evening was meeting up with Anoushka pie and all the rides they went on together. Clearly they could have gone all night on the carousel, flying Dumbo elephant, and the rotating cars. But it was time to visit the Gingerbread house and the ice skating rink. Talinn really wanted to try ice skating...he should be ready by next year!Holiday Lights Train in Santa Cruz
Nothing gets you into the spirit of Christmas more than a ride in a beautifully decked out train singing carols, meeting Mr. and Mrs. Claus and sipping hot apple cider.
Talinn knew all the carols to sing along and even jumped on the floor to shake a leg. But the highlight of the ride was when the train stopped at a special station en route to pick up Santa! Talinn was thrilled to meet Santa and totally floored when the old man offered him a candy cane. That kept him occupied for the rest of our ride. Even Ammamma got a big hug from Santa :-)
The "snow" fall completed magic of the train ride. Our holiday round up this year was so spectacular and we had such a great time getting into the spirit and joy of the season with Ammamma and Talinn.

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