Friday, December 28, 2012

'Tis the Season for Tradition

Whether you're creating your own, trying to breathe life into an old one, trying to avoid the ones you don't like, or completely ensconcing yourself in them, this is the time of year for traditions. Once you create your own family, creating traditions just goes with the territory and often happen out of sheer necessity.

Jacob and I started our Christmas Eve tradition over Zoey's first Christmas. My mom the new Grandparent had sent a large box of presents and it just seemed weird to bring the box full of presents for no one but us up to Jacob's family's house. So since 2010, we've had our tradition of a nice, home-cooked meal followed by present-opening, and a few things we've added or tweaked probably mostly out of - like I said - sheer necessity.

 An office tradition for a few years, they had a violinist come and play for all 3 of us there the Friday before Christmas.

 A tradition I'd like to revive, making Holiday Wreaths like I did with my mom when I was little. Every place I looked, though, was sold out of the red-hot candies so I used red M&Ms instead. I brought some up to Jacob's parent's on Christmas day and got rave reviews.

 Growing up, the only presents we were allowed to open on Christmas Eve was our church outfit and/or a package of fresh underwear. Since Grandma and Grandpa Donahue are so generous to send us more than just that, we like to sort of create the "Christmas morning" experience around Zoey's nap time; the presents aren't there when she goes to bed but are when she wakes up.

 Dad of the Century, or what?

Thank you so much for filling up our tree!!

 I was behind the 8-ball this year in terms of Christmas shopping, but I managed to work it so I didn't have to hit the stores on Christmas Eve. I did, however, manage to pay for a package of wrapping paper and somehow not arrive home with it, so we had to make an extra trip for some. This was Jacob's choice of paper (Sesame Street Christmas was Zoey's choice, and mine just regular 'ole green n' red).

 Zoey woke up from nap and immediately saw the presents. She can get herself out of her room now and said, "Ohhh look all the pretty presents!!"

 Still a little groggy from nap....

 Scopin' the goods.

We told her if she found the present with Princess paper, she could unwrap that one. Of course, she found it immediately.

 And needed no refresher course on the art of the un-wrap. Funny thing: she picked up the present - still completely wrapped - gave it one shake and said, "It's a movie!!"

The newest Tinkerbell movie, Tinkerbell: Secret of the Wings, YAY!! She hugged it and said, "My favorite!" Then she promptly went to the big, brown, recliner, settled in with some milk and Suit and watched a good deal of it before the other presents called to her from the other room. Daddy could take it no longer himself, and Mommy didn't want to be the party-pooper so we tore into some gifts.

 New videos! A potty video and Yo Gabba Gabba, which is "her show," and I'm sure Grandma knew we'd appreciate new episodes since Netflix refuses to add any more than Season 1; it's enough to drive a mother to the funny farm. *twitches*

 When we *don't* receive socks from Grandma, that's when it's time to worry. And don't worry, kid, there will come a time when underwear will be included. ;-)

 The dogs seemed more into everything than we were; often times we couldn't see what it was because their block heads were in the way.

 Best pose-with-the-Christmas-present picture ever. Ever.

 She took a break to help open the dog's presents for them.

 Louis enjoyed the spiky, plastic ball from Grandma. Durbin didn't really get it...

 Louis with his (and Durbin's) haul.

 Jacob and I got the dogs giant, squeaking tennis ball-type toys and Durbin liked that best, to the point where if you got near him like you were going to take it, he'd grunt real loud.

 Socks for everyone!! Except the dogs.

 Jacob and I got some great presents, as well.

 One of two pairs of jammies! And Miss Zo Zo is back there rockin' her new kicks with a bag of baby cheetos.

 We didn't even know such a thing existed! Well, I didn't (gravy strainer).

For our next date night.

 Makin' fast work of her Christmas treats.

Something we haven't had - or didn't pay attention to - in previous years: the yule log! On Netflix there was the cracking "episode" and the cracking with Christmas carols "episode."

 Saved the biggest for last.

 I offer my one-eyebrow lift because as we set everything around the tree, Jacob said to me, "Wouldn't that be funny if you're mom gave her a bowling set?" (I got her one)

 Look for her on ESPN!

 All the kids playing with their toys.

Our nice Christmas Eve meal this year was turkey. The company I work for gave everyone turkeys for Thanksgiving but since we had that covered, we saved it specifically for this occasion.

 All natural, hormone-free, Montana-grown and freakin' delicious. See, one of the wings just fell right off.

And since I feel that turkey only really goes with mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, and gravy, that's what I made. We ate that while we watched Elf, then Zoey took a bath because that is what all good kids do the night before Santa comes.

It started snowing sometime Christmas Eve day and continued well into the night so there was about 3 inches come Christmas morning. It really was a great day, and another notch on our belt 'o traditions.