After getting through most of our traditions in Part 1, it is time to delve into Part 2 – Presents and Lake Family Traditions.
Like I said, Santa seemed to think we were pretty nice, so there were many presents to open! Mason and Cooper were pretty excited about that. Almost too excited in my mind…. They kept asking for more presents to open. I’m looking forward to the days when they are a little more into the giving than the receiving. But they are still pretty young, so I’ll let it slide for another year.
These faces sure make it easy to wake up on Christmas morning. (Ok, truth time. I actually woke them up on Christmas morning. I knew there was a lot to get through in a short period of time, and I couldn’t wait any longer!)
My family tradition for opening presents is to have one person open at a time. That way everyone can focus on them and that gift, and the giver and receiver can have a special moment – acknowledging the gift and such. Mason and Cooper are still learning this. They have gotten better, but like I said, they were very excited about opening gifts this year. Luckily Hayes was not ready to open his own presents, so Mason and Cooper were right there by his side ready to lend a hand when they could.
After a lovely morning at Meema’s and seeing some other extended family, we headed out to Nana and Papa’s. We would not be “celebrating” that day since we were waiting for Kristin to come back from her cruise the next day, but we still managed to have a nice afternoon playing with new toys and just enjoying each other’s company.
As soon as Kristin arrived the next day, it was time to get back into the craziness, though!
Stockings are a big Lake family tradition. The stockings you see hung above consist of the four original ones that Jeremy’s grandma knitted for everyone. Sadly the kids and I came too late to get one of those, but Nana has done a good job trying to get ones that fit into the mix for us. Each stocking is overloaded (seriously, the contents spill out onto the steps!) with individually wrapped presents. Each person is presented with their stocking, and then we all dig in. It’s a lot of fun! And the goodies always range from the useful (batteries and vitamins) to the edible (candy and jerky) to the fun (colored post-its and bouncy balls).
Once the stockings are emptied and hung back on the staircase, we take a little break. This year, we broke for lunch, although in other years, it is usually for a big breakfast. Then we get right back to it. See all those presents in the picture above? It was going to take some time. The kids were especially excited about new coloring books, a Lite Brite (flashback!), new Schleich animals, and the Busytown game. The grown-ups were excited about a photography book Kristin had put together of all her travels and the family. It’s quite amazing!
After a long morning and afternoon, we got to rest while the traditional beef tenderloin cooked in the oven. Another delicious meal finished off the Christmas craziness. Luckily the kids slept pretty well through all of this. Without naps, it’s no wonder they were zonked by their later than normal bedtime.
Despite all the craziness, we had a wonderful Christmas with our families. Traditions were honored and new ones created, and that is truly what I love about Christmas. Even though we took down all the decorations before New Years, the spirit of it all is still with me, and I will fondly remember craziness that made it so special.