The Christmas season has always been a time that I spend with my family. Since I could remember there was always certain traditions my family has done every year. I remember writing a paper on my favorite traditions in 3rd grade instead of writing about one single favorite Christmas memory. What can I say I’m an overachiever. (Though my grade did not reflect that… oops) Christmas isn’t about presents but the presence of being with family and having fun together. So here are my favorite, simple, Christmas traditions.
Instead of turkey or ham for Christmas Eve dinner, we have Tamales! We typically have Chicken, Beef, Jalapeño and Cheese, and sometimes sweet ones that are pink. Though I don’t like those at all. My grandpa mixes the masa, which is like dough made of corn, and usually, it is my grandma, mom and I spreading it onto dried corn husks and adding the filling. My favorite way to eat them is the next day when my mom warms them up on the comal and they get a bit crunchy.
Another of our traditions is we do a Secret Santa Gift Exchange. One with the kids and one with the adults. At Thanksgiving, we pick names out of a hat so we know who to shop for. Us kids write down a list of things we would want and put that with our names. As we have gotten older most of our lists now say things like “socks” or “gift cards for food.” 3 of us are in college now and practicality is starting to overrule more fun items. Though you can never go wrong with having too many pairs of fluffy socks.
White Elephant Game
This may be my favorite tradition we have. Everyone brings a gift for the game and then we pick numbers and choose presents. Each gift can be stolen 2 times before it is locked and it can get really competitive. You never know which box will have the best gift. So sometimes you end up with gift cards or chocolate and sometimes you end up with a framed photo of a family member. Guess which gift I usually end up with.
Depending on how much time we have in the month of December this one had turned into buying the pull apart cookies to bake, but on years like this one where we have a bit of time, my mom will bake goods from scratch. Typically our list of sweets includes, truffles, chocolate chip, candy cane, and butter cookies, some pecan tassies. Yum! Then me and my brother, and sometimes friends or cousins, will sit around and decorate the sugar cookies that we have cut into shapes like reindeer, Santa, and trees. The toppings include colored frosting and every sprinkle imaginable. So basically everything that tastes good but will rot your teeth. So worth it.
Do you have any holiday traditions?
I hope you have a Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad!