these days i get a nosefull of the orange-piney goodness of our douglas fir christmas tree when i walk in our front door. the smell takes me back to days-gone-by of my childhood: we always had a real tree for christmas. i don't recall that we ever, as a family, went so far as cutting down our own, but we definitely didn't taint our winter holidays with a fake tree. although my mother did allow for as much tinsel as we could possibly drape on the needly boughs.
my parents began this tradition before i can remember remembering and carried it on in perpetuity through all the many stages of my life: adolescent angst, college angst, first job angst, getting married angst. the christmas tree was a balm to my soul, so to speak, a little bit of holiday aroma therapy. it wasn't until a few years ago that my mother finally admitted to NOT enjoying putting up a christmas tree (or more like transforming the entire house into a winter wonderland) anymore, and kindly requested that i go get my own.
so now i carry on this holiday tradition of having a real christmas tree (since last year anyway), and i have learned that along with the beauty and comfort and peace of the tree and lights comes WORK(!). work well worth it for the enjoyment sebastien is beginning to experience and that which i continue to experience (at my age even!) especially after a long morning or afternoon of battling kamikaze parents on a mission at the toy store wielding large carts and looks to kill. as a matter of fact, i wonder sometimes what i would do without my christmas tree hide-away. aside from not cleaning up green, holiday kitty puke every morning.
in light of the holiday and the glowing tree in my living room, we have had a year of many blessings. seb is growing and developing like mad. although not outright talking yet, he has increased the number of different sounds he gibber-gabbers from da-da-da to ahgahrah and doyama.... and yes, he even says mama and daddy now. i really can't wait until he can actually use the english language to communicate so i can know what he is thinking and talking about. he has so much to say!
he has taken a keen interest in all things kitchen. if brian and i aren't in the kitchen cooking or doing something cooking related, seb gets very upset. when we are in the kitchen, seb now joins us, standing up on a chair testing our knowledge of what is IS allowed to touch compared to what he is NOT allowed to touch. he is starting to learn the subtleties of using the microwave (no seb, do NOT turn on the microwave with nothing in it... no, seb, do NOT turn on the microwave with a metal utensil in it.). and if we ever have trouble finding the pots and pans where they should be in the cupboard, we just have to find seb "cooking" in the living room. maybe he'll be a chef when he grows up.
seb spends a great deal of time reading (like his mama) and listening to music and trying to "fix" his things with wheels (like his daddy). he has developed a fanatical obsession with bicycles since brian has several in the basement and rides one to work each morning. the pedaling hand sign for bike has become synonymous with daddy. seb loves touching the wheels and the frame and spinning the pedals. maybe he'll be the next lance armstrong.
climbing is becoming a much more practical concept for seb. he has mastered climbing up and down the stairs at home and grandma and grandpa's (*shew* i don't have to carry him anymore!). most recently seb "sent" our little kitchen step ladder, chanting "uuuuh" on the way up and "daaaah" on the way down. if brian and i get our christmas wish, we'll be building a mini climbing wall in our basement, and seb will be able to hone his rock climbing skills. maybe he'll be the next chris sharma.