There's nothing quite like being a kid during the holidays. For our family, the holiday season means we get a bit of a change-up from our usual country lifestyle, adding some glitz and baubles and festivity to the mix.

Best time to be a kid

We inevitably find ourselves making the drive downtown to attend events or take a trip to the mall for some holiday shopping. Gifts for friends and family are usually purchased in advance, but I like to take the boys to Gymboree to snag some seasonal deals on clothes in the next size up. These kids grow so fast, I'm always trying to think ahead!

Best time to be a kid

One of our must-see stops in San Diego's Gaslamp District is Ghirardelli. It's never an intentional trip, but once we get through the traffic, those neon lights call to us like Reindeer's nose to Santa. “You know what sounds really good right now…?” Nate asks. I nod in agreement, and we meander as a family the couple blocks from mall to malt shop for rich hot chocolate, brownies and whipped cream.

Best time to be a kid

No matter how hot or cold it is outside, Nate orders his favorite mint chip sundae. It's been overcast and drizzly here: moderate “sweater weather” for most places, but in SoCal it's considered “duck and take cover” weather as people totally cease functioning and forget how to drive. So, he balanced out his chilly choice with a warm mug of thick cocoa.

Best time to be a kid

This was the first year Sidekick was able to feed himself and really take part in the festivities.

Best time to be a kid

He caught on quickly enough.

Best time to be a kid

And mama? Well, mama just tried to ignore those niggling contractions and hope that this third baby decides to make his debut sooner rather than later.

Best time to be a kid

At the end of a long day, we make the trek back home and collapse, exhausted, in front of a warm fire.

Gymboree is working with popular bloggers to feature their favorite holiday traditions. Check out why this is the best time to be a kid for my friend Jessica's family in the below video. “Some of my favorite childhood memories are from during the holidays,” Jessica says. “These years pass by so quickly. I'd really love for them to just enjoy their lives and appreciate each other as much as possible.”

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