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Matthew Settle Celebrates Baby’s First Christmas, Hanukkah

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Dec. 11 2009, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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Matthew Settle is getting ready to celebrate seven-month-old daughter Aven’s first Christmas – and Hanukkah, which begins tonight at sundown.

“Her mother’s doing the menorah,” the Gossip Girl dad, 40, tells me. “They like Christmas, so we’ll do Christmas as well, and trees are pretty – they smell nice. I guess we’ll get a real tree for her. The most exciting thing I’m looking forward to is watching her try to open a gift. I know at this age, they just want to eat the box.”

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What’s her latest milestone?

“She’s crawling around and pulling herself up,” she says. “When she does things like pull herself up to stand, she looks at us for approval and smiles, like ‘look at me, I’m standing.’ She talks. She goes ‘yah, yah, yah, yah,’ and she says ‘dada’ but she doesn’t know what it means. I’m trying to get her to say ‘mama’ because it’s not fair if she just says ‘dada.’”

Matthew’s favorite thing to do with Aven is make music.

“I just bought her a piano,” he says. “A little pink piano on 58th Street at one of those piano stores. It’s actually called My First Piano. I play guitar, and she sits at the piano and bangs on it. That’s pretty fun.”

He charms wife Naama with his waffle-cooking skills – and the pair who wed in 2006 sneak away for couples time.

“Today we went to the park and took the dogs, and we walked around in circles, because that’s what the park is – it’s a circle,” he yuks.

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