Chanukah Princess

For the majority of my adulthood, the holiday season has been pretty anticlimactic. During my college days, if I was still in Tucson during Chanukah, we hardly celebrated. When I graduated and started dating Bryan, we exchanged a couple gifts for a year or two and then decided we’d just treat each other well all throughout the year. The first year we lived together, we decorated the house with blue and Chanukah-themed tzchotchkes, but for the few years after, the decorations stayed in their plastic tub beyond 365 days. This year, though, with Madelyn in everyone’s lives, Chanukah took on a whole new excitement and we celebrated as if it was the first time the holiday had meaning since we were kids ourselves.

The takeaway: people really like Madelyn! Her grandparents loved spoiling her, her great aunts and cousins made sure to include her in their generous gift-giving, and her Auntie Ali enjoyed buying new things for her niece. Lighting candles and watching her stare at the lit menorah was magical, and we used our best singing voices when saying the prayer. We patiently helped her tear open the wrapping paper and savored each moment as she discovered what she was holding in her hands.

Next year, when Madelyn has a better understanding of the holiday — or that there is a holiday to be excited about — her mommy and daddy will have a present to open all eight nights. This year, though, we let everyone else enjoy the gift-giving experience with a mini gathering at our house with Mimi and Poppa and Mimi’s parents, GG and Grandy. There was a bigger party a few nights later at Grandma and Grandpa’s house with lots of cousins. And the next night, Grandma and Grandpa showered their granddaughter with even more presents! Holy matzo balls! All of the Chanukah party nights were full of yummy food (no latkes for Madelyn this year!), lots of new toys, and a full-on game of Pass the Baby.

Madelyn may not have had any idea about why all of her family gathered or about the historical and storied significance of the holiday, but it was another milestone in her first year of life that will make great photo collections!

Woo hoo! An excuse to use the fancy married China!

Bryan's latkes went straight to my thighs. Worth every calorie.

GG, Madelyn, and Mama: content after latkes and formula.

Madelyn shows off for her great grandparents

So far so good -- the baby didn't try to grab the candles.

Madelyn surrounded by a deep blue sea... of presents.

One day, she'll be tearing open pink rectangular boxes of Barbies, but this year it's all about...

THE RING STACKER... in. her. mouth.

Madelyn and Madeline. The little French girl must taste as good as a baguette.

Dog kisses. The gift that keeps on giving. And giving. And giving.

Madelyn gets deja vu for 8 nights in a row.

Chanukah at Grandma & Grandpa's is like an episode of the Jewish Partridge Family -- everyone sings!

... and 3.2 seconds later, the water ducky became the saliva ducky.

Twelve months of Madelyn!

Two babies, both dressed up in animal outfits.

Madelyn's first tea party set! Baby Bri'ish accent not included.

  1. 1/10/2012 11:31 AM

    I need to come up with new synonyms so I can keep telling you how adorable you guys are! Seriously, you’re killing me!

  2. Mimi
    1/5/2012 5:50 PM

    The 1st photo displays the delicious table of latkes and brisket……and then I see your exercise ball in the background. Was that to remind us that we needed to burn off all those well-received calories!? Madelyn, you can enjoy the yummy latkes next Chanukah!