So this is Christmas

The holidays sure snuck up on us this year. I blame the extended Fall weather and the trees along our driveway that refused to shed their leaves. It never felt Christmasy until it was time for Pete and I to have some friends over for a low-key holiday party and we had no tree or decorations up until that day.

A week ago I realized we still had quite a list to tackle: a few last minute gifts, a grocery list to make, cookies to bake, and a photo Christmas card starring Hannah & Gamy to create. The final gifts wrapped or mailed (a day late, oops), groceries purchased, and cookies in progress. Despite my best efforts the holiday card never happened. Maybe we can do a New Year’s card instead.

Last year as we wrapped up the Christmas festivities with Pete’s family, I turned to his mom and said “Next year will be very different.” I was 32 weeks pregnant and expecting my future 10 month old to be crawling, yanking ornaments off the tree, and eating solid food at the table with us. Now that we’re spending Christmases in Holland things are not as I imagined.

There won’t be any crawling this year but there will be sitting. Hannah picked a perfect time to master sitting up. Now she can look at the tree, play with her gifts, and see her family in a new way. There will definitely be a lot of clapping because Hannah loves the reaction she gets from us. She also does this awesomely adorable shaky face when she’s so excited that she literally can’t hide it. Don’t worry, the doctor said it’s normal.

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There won’t be any yanking ornaments off the tree but there will be toy throwing. And chewing. And smashing. When I sit Hannah in the bumbo seat and give her a toy she immediately flings it off the tray. Again and again. One day I gave her a pile of miscellaneous items (toys, socks, bibs, pacifier) and she made shaky face, before throwing each item to her sides. Then she clapped for herself. When Hannah’s not throwing her toys she’s chewing or smashing them. I think she’s trying to get milk to come out. Or chocolate.

There won’t be Christmas ham on Hannah’s plate but there will be a seat for her at our table. I try to include Hannah in our meals as often as possible. I think it’s a good learning experience for her to watch us move food to our mouths and chew. She watches us intently and has even started to lean forward when I bring food to my mouth, eager to have a bite herself. Instead of ham she’ll have a slice of French bread to chew (and smash) and she’ll add chuckles, babbles, and pint-sized yells to the dinner conversation.

One thing I was certain of a year ago is still true today – my baby’s first Christmas will be a magical one. Hannah’s going to love the attention from family, the colors of the wrapping paper, and the stimulation of new toys and clothes. She won’t want to go to bed thanks to her severe case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). We’ll let her stay up late to soak up every second of holiday spirit under the glow of her first Christmas tree. We’ll have the merriest Christmas thanks to that little girl.

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