Taking your baby home for the holidays? Read this first.

Like many Bay Area expats we’re taking our baby home this Christmas and I’m already prepping for the long journey back to the UK. We’ve done one other long-haul flight with him and several shorter ones. This is what we’ve learned so far: Call your airline before you fly On long-haul flights babies less than 25 pounds can sleep in a bassinet, but these are only provided if you’re in the bulkhead seats. Contact your airline in advance to bag these early. If you forget, ask at the desk when you check-in if they have any spots still available. Even […]

Catch The Holiday Spirit In The Bay Area

I admit it.  I’ve had some trouble getting into the holiday spirit this year.  One of my favorite things to do is send holiday cards.  I didn’t send a one.  Didn’t want to.  This year I have been busier than usual and I think that has something to do with my glumness.   I haven’t taken the time to let the holidays in.  I’m going to set some time aside to immerse myself in a few holiday traditions that have given me that warm fuzzy holiday feeling in the past. Making sugar cookies. Check out Michelle’s family recipe. Getting a tree – even […]

Sugar Cookies – A Family Tradition at Christmas

A few weeks ago I wrote about two important Christmas traditions. One – cutting down a tree, and Two – baking sugar cookies. I’ve done both now, so I guess Christmas must be getting close. I don’t think I’ve ever skipped a year of making these. Whether I baked with all of my cousins and my grandma, just me and my mom, or with the help of new housemates when I was a student in Wales, I just have to make these every year. This was the first year that my son helped. He provided excellent supervision while I mixed […]

Family Traditions During the Holidays

It’s the time of year when traditions are prevalent.  Some were purposely and thoughtfully created while others just evolved.  For example, I sought out the perfect wooden advent calendar with the intention of opening 25 magical doors becoming tradition in my children’s lives.   On the other hand, when my Mom and I start to decorate the inside of the house for Christmas, my Dad goes and puts the lights on the outside of the house.  It happens the same way, at the same time, every year.  It just started happening that way and now, it’s tradition. In my experience, regardless […]

Christmas Traditions

What are some of your favorite Christmas/Holiday Traditions? For me, Christmas isn’t really Christmas unless I do two things. One – bake Christmas cookies and two – cut down/pick out a Christmas tree. Now, picking up a tree from Safeway or Home Depot gets the job done, and can be cost effective, but for me and my family, it’s about more than just getting a tree. Ever since I can remember, going out to get a tree was a special day. Some years it would just be me and my mom, and other years, we would go out with all […]

Top 5: Gifts to send home from the Bay Area

Being away from family during the holidays is the hardest part about being an expat.  Holidays are often surrounded by traditions, unique to each family, that have taken years to evolve.  I believe the anticipation of these special moments is what we feel when we say we are in the ‘holiday spirit.’  It’s hard to feel that when not in a familiar environment or around people we love.  It’s hard for those at ‘home’ as well. My family and friends have been delighted to receive gifts that are local to where I am living.  They have expressed that it creates […]