We're entering your third holiday season (fourth, if you count New Year's Eve and New Year's Day of 2004/2005, your first and second days of life), and what fun it is. You are at this remarkable age where you have no recollection whatsoever of last winter, and you have incredible anticipation of this one. Yesterday I got to explain to you that for the next month we'll be shopping for a lot of presents, and then watch you as you thoughtfully made your way through the outdoor store in search of something for your Uncle Tom. Santa Claus is still a complete mystery to you, and that's probably because we don't talk about him much. You have an interesting background where that's concerned because we're Jewish, but my family is not. We won't ever have a tree in our house, but for as long as we're able to, we'll spend Christmas morning at your cousins' house. Some people will tell you that Jews shouldn't celebrate Christmas - and I'll probably have a harder time with that than you will, since I chose this religion and I'm constantly feeling like I have to measure up - but the truth is, you can do anything you want to do. Christmas is a happy day and you should spend it with people you love, whether you celebrate the religious aspects or not.
Your birthday is coming up too, and the way I figure it, this is probably the last year of your childhood where there is no birthday list, no anxious anticipation of the pile of presents at your party. All you've asked for is a moonbounce and a purple cake with black icing and sprinkles, and I can deliver on both of those things. When you heard there would be goodie bags for your friends, you asked if you could have one too, and the answer, of course, is yes, absolutely. I hope you love being a New Year's Eve baby, I really do. It's not the birthday I would have chosen for you - too much hooplah leading up to it, and you'll never get to bring cupcakes into school on your big day - but there is something to be said for being born on a day where so many people around the world are gearing up for a big party.
But before all of that happens, there's Thanksgiving. It'll be a small one this year, with just your two of your grandparents and us. I don't think you'll eat any turkey - you're still pretty much a vegan at this point, almost entirely by your choice - and of course you won't have any pie (we know how you feel about pie), but maybe you'll try the sweet potatoes, or maybe you'll just eat some bread and then get very happy when you realize "a la mode" is actually French for "break out the ice cream."
All of these holidays, now more than ever, symbolize the ending of one thing and the beginning of another. This year, I see my little toddler fading away and I see the beginnings of a wonderful little boy. A preschooler. As your Aunt Janet would say, a dude. And I say, bring it on. I'm ready.