My family doesn’t really follow any traditions during the holidays. We just get together in someone’s home, eat and watch the kids be kids. I guess this is a kind of tradition, no? Some of the traditions I grew up with in El Salvador were lost when I came to United States. Christmas felt different there, it felt nicer maybe less complicated. The focus was never on gift giving but more on the birth of el niño Jesus. It was a celebration of his birthday. I realized now the gift thing wasn’t such a big deal because most didn’t have much to give. Some waited for the 3 Reyes Magos (3 kings) celebration in January. I think this gave parents a little extra time to get gifts for the kiddos.
Things changed when I came to the United States. The feeling of Christmas was never the same and this is one of those things I missed about my country. I used to count down the days until December 24th because I could wear my new clothes and eat traditional food we wouldn’t normally eat everyday like chicken or tamales. I missed that feeling. I remember some of my friends believed Santa couldn’t make it to El Salvador every year because he lived too far (this is what their parent’s used to say when they couldn’t get gifts on time and used the 3 Reyes holiday to buy some time). I missed that innocence. I our Christmas tree wasn’t a big pine tree but a tree branch we picked out with grandma and decorated with lights, and colorful ornaments. I missed the simplicity. These memories are very dear to my heart and I’m so thankful I was able to experience that kind of Christmas as a child. I want Gael to know what that feels like.
For the first time in a long while I am excited about the holiday and this is all thanks to my little guy. This is Gael’s first Christmas and it brings me so much joy to be able to share this with him. He is too young to understand the meaning behind all of it but one day I would love for him to feel excited about more than just gifts. Here are a few of my hopeful traditions I would love to share with him.
- Thanksgiving meal together- Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and this year I cooked a meal for just the two of us. I want to be able to do this every year. I want to teach him the importance of gratitude and make it a daily practice in our lives.
- Christmas Décor until the day after Thanksgiving- We will not put up Christmas decorations until the day after thanksgiving. I would love for us choose the colors together and make it a tradition the day after thanksgiving.
- Ornaments: I would love to for us to make our own ornaments. This year I made a simple ornament with his photo inside of it. I’m not crafty but I want us to be able to make things together.
- Nativity Scene: I want him to understand the meaning of the nativity scene and when he is older, if he chooses, celebrate the birth of el niños Jesus at midnight Dec. 25th.
- Posadas with friends- This year we hosted friends for dinners in our casita and also visited some in their homes. I would love for us to continue doing this every year. I want him to learn about the importance of friendships and appreciate the special people in our life.
- Making Gifts- I love personal, meaningful gifts. I would love for Gael to make simple gifts for certain people in his life like his father or grandma. I don’t want him to ever feel pressured to buy expensive gifts for anyone. I want him to understand the real value and meaning of gifting.
- Hot coco, cookies and presents- This is a tradition I always admired from some families. I would love it if we could wake up on Christmas morning to open presents from Santa while zipping on hot coco with homemade cookies.
- End of the year dinner- I want us to sit down to have dinner before the end of year. One day I’ll be able to talk to him about everything we did during the year and share what we want to do in the New Year. I want us to set goals and talk about how he will accomplish them during the year.
Gael has changed my world in ways I could have never imagined. Reading through this list makes my heart warm and makes me excited about the future ahead with my little guy. He has brought so much joy into my life and I couldn’t be more thankful. He is making the season feel different- much nicer, less complicated and much more joyful.
I wish you nothing but joy and may the new year be a great adventure full of smiles, goodness and mucho amor.
TEXAS POSADAS BLOG HOP
I’m participating in a Texas Posadas Blog Hop as part of the Texas Social Media Network (#TXSocial). You can visit these other blogs for more on Posadas: food, traditions, etc. We’ll be celebrating our Posada Blogs for the next nine days. Join us!
12/16 – My Tots Travel
12/17 – Sweet Life
12/18 – Expecting The Unexpected
12/20 – Tejana Made
12/21 – Monica Wants It
12/22 – Sybilline
12/23 – Your Sassy Self
12/24 – ¿Qué Means What?