Friday, December 14, 2007

Holly Jolly Traditions

by Elodia Strain

Sorry I didn't post yesterday. Hope Crystal is cool with me sharing her blog day.

Last night I attended a Christmas party at church. The theme was "Christmas Around the World." After eating a yummy Italian dinner, we enjoyed Christmas carols in many different language and listened as presenters spoke about Christmas traditions from various parts of the globe. I learned about the traditions of Lithuania, Portugal, and Tonga. And as I listened, I reflected on my own Christmas traditions.

My father is first generation Mexican-American and thus many of my family of origin's Christmas traditions are derived from this Mexican heritage. I remember travelling to my Abuelita Olga's house and making tamales on Christmas Eve and then waiting until midnight when one of my tias would bring out a cake and we would sing "Happy Birthday to Jesus" and then eat cake until we were joyfully stuffed.

Mostly, I remember seeing all of my cousins and running around my grandmas tiny single wide trailer and feeling an overwhelming sense of love. It didn't matter that we didn't all share the same religion or even that I couldn't understand a lot of what my grandma said, we were there to celebrate the birth of The Savior of the World and to bask in the love that such a celebration brought about.

So tell me, what are your most cherished Christmas traditions?


Marcia Mickelson said...

We did the whole waiting up until midnight thing too. Then, we would all exchange hugs. We opened our Christmas presents at midnight on Christmas eve too! Then, we'd sleep in on Christmas Day.

Tamra Norton said...

I grew up in northern California so every year in early December we'd drive up into the mountains, pick out a Christmas tree and cut it down ourselves.