Friday, December 25, 2020

Our Christmas Traditions

Growing up our family had Christmas traditions. I started thinking about it last night when my friend who has a new baby pinged to greet me. I told him it's time for him to create his family's Christmas tradition since he now has a baby. 

I remember we'd have huge family reunions when I was growing up. My Mom comes from a big family and whenever everyone was present our house would be full to the brim with my titos, titas and cousins. Eventually this grew bigger when my generation started producing babies. My Dad also comes from a bigger family and I remember one huge family reunion when a pregnant cousin's water broke in the middle of the party! There was a mad scramble to bring her to the hospital.


Here's some of the traditions we do annually -

Family Portrait - of course, family photo is a must! We also started this tradition in our little family. It's usually a family photo with the Christmas tree and a family photo at church. This year we're not together, but we still found a way to be together for our annual family photo. Check it out (see above)!  

Christmas Feast - my cousins and I were talking about our traditional family food. Each family brings their specialty. Titay used to make her lengua  dish, Tito Ben would bring seafood or steak, Dad would make his casserole (a.k.a. shepherd's pie), Tita Josie also brought a special dish (I just don't remember right now), I'd usually make Spanish adobo because Tito Mon loves it, Mom would prepare ham weeks ahead from scratch (it was like a science experiment) and there were many others. 

Noche Buena - we usually have noche buena after attending the midnight mass. This changed when my parents got older and we just hear mass on Christmas day. Noche buena is usually a full spread of food, ham, spaghetti, lechon manok, macaroni salad, embotido, are staples. When it's just Jay, Miggy and me I usually just prepare ham, spaghetti and macaroni salad. I prepared the same this year and Sweetie just ordered food for Miggy. I took so long cooking last night, so we ended up having Christmas lunch instead haha. 

Gift Giving - during our family reunions, Tito Tony usually distributed the gifts. The gifts would usually fly through the air since Tito Tony would normally throw the gift towards the person. That's why it was important to mark gifts as fragile if you were giving anything breakable (so he wouldn't throw it!). Eventually we shifted the tradition for the youngest in the family to do the distribution. 

Personally though I prefer to open gifts at the last hour of Christmas day. I usually set aside gifts that come from friends and open it at the last hour. I like doing this since it makes the day longer and there's still something to look forward to before going to bed. 

Things changed a lot in the last decade since we lost most of our elders in the family. Most of my cousins are all married now so that meant they have additional family reunions they need to attend. We started a new tradition last year by dining out. That's what started me on Recipes for My Son because I realized that we should have preserved our family recipes. So I started with some of the staple food I cook. 

Merry Christmas everyone! This year is definitely a different kind of Christmas for all of us, but I'd like to think this year has brought us an important gift. It taught us what is valuable and brought us closer to each other. 

CB//260 #StuckAtHomeDay/290 #StayHome #BeKind

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