Late November and into December is one of my favorite times of the year. It was a true source of delight for me to look forward to Thanksgiving and the onset of the Christmas season knowing that I’d be able to share it with you.
In retrospect, this past Thanksgiving won’t be one that either of your parents are likely to forget. Somehow we hoodwinked both sets of your grandparents to travel up to Boston for the feast marking the first time in his memory that your father didn’t pass through the Vince Lombardi rest stop on Thanksgiving day. We were all quite excited right up till the point we realized you came down with a wicked fever via one of your daycare buddies. So unfortunately we will remember this first holiday less for the food and family and more for the first time your temperature spiked past 104 degrees and your father hyperventilated into a paper bag because of you and not the Red Sox. Needless to say, you handled it with your typical stoic grace. Most of the time you had this bewildered wrinkle in your forehead like you couldn’t quite figure out why you couldn’t harness the full wattage of your cuteness.
Now the fever did break and with a little tinsel, good tidings and holiday music you beat back that first major cold. Speaking of music, if you haven’t figured it out yet, your father and I don’t really see eye to eye on Christmas music. In the past he has tried to institute a house rule that no Christmas music can be played until after Thanksgiving (ed. note: this is true, I vehemently arm myself against Christmas creep. I enjoy the season, just not in October). However, I always break this “rule” and can be found listening to Christmas music in early November. A fact I happily shared with my you, my new tie breaking vote. And girl you took to holiday music like an elf to a candy cane. Some of your favorites were, Jingle Bells, Frosty The Snowman, and Up on the Housetop. However the sleeper hit of the season was definitely Bob Dylan’s polka style version of Must Be Santa. His Christmas album was no joke to you. It was a spicy eggnog to your soul. You loved it. You wiggled, smiled, clapped and cajoled anyone in the vicinity to join in your merriment. I think your father even came around in the end.
Besides making your father’s ears bleed olde English carols, we also introduced you to the wonders of holiday decorating. Tinsel! Lights! Animatronic Santas! Wrapping Paper! Oh my! On one of the last warm days of the year, we strung the lights outside while you and Lola competed on who could get them in their mouth first (we called it a tie). We also displayed our collection of Hallmark-style, musical, battery action holiday items. What could be more exciting than singing snowmen? Nothing, except maybe Cheerios, given the look on your face.
Next came The Tree. The wonderful, glorious Christmas tree. Every morning we’d come downstairs and plop you on the rug in front of the tree and plug in the lights. Even the grinch’s heart would swell to see you clap, squeal, and smile with delight.
We also taught you about Baby Jesus, and while looking at the manger didn’t seem to excite you as much as looking at the Tree, you did enjoy Mom’s impression of the stable animals.
And if holiday madness wasn’t enough you decided it was time to start crawling. Unfortunately, we installed a part wrong and you started crawling backwards. Despite what we came to call your “fancy crawling”, you and your parents were proud to glide past (backwards) another milestone. You are also “talking” more in more and taking notice of your environment. Grabbing and pointing vehemently in the direction of things that you would like to comment on or get your grubby hands on. Dad calls this using “The Force.” He’ll explain what that means exactly in newsletter 108 (ed note. Cece, pay attention. If you stumble across something on cable that claims to be Star Wars but is numbered episode 1, 2 or 3. Turn it off immediately! Trust me.)
Finally, eight months also brought you your first teeth. Two tiny flecks of white that look so innocent but caused so much havoc in the Donohue household. Our happy, smiling baby suddenly became cranky and inconsolable. When the two conniving clumps finally broke through, you had some stern and disapproving looks for your parents. Probably won’t be the last time.
Mom & Dad