As we are drawing nearer to the holidays, we took some time to kick back and reminisce on the holiday traditions that are near and dear to our hearts. Some of our customs may resemble those of your family, but even if not- the love of family and joy of the season is clear to see! Merry Christmas from the YKC family to yours!
Since my wife and I were married 18 years ago, we have been going to look at Christmas lights with the kids. We love going to the River Oaks area in Houston, and there are so many areas in and around Houston with beautiful decorations! We have family in the Pecan Grove area of Richmond which also has a ton of great decorations. We have 6 children so there has always been a little one or two ready for the ride. Our youngest is 10 years old this year, so we still have several more years of riding around looking at everyone’s Christmas lights. The lights, the smells of fresh Christmas trees and time spent with family is the best part of the holiday season.
When my son was around 3 we began a yearly tradition of having him open his gifts on Christmas morning, then have all his grandparents over for lunch. While he showed off his gifts, we’d have tamales and chili for lunch, then play bingo and loteria. It’s such a special thing, being with family for the holidays. Growing up, my grandparents were in a different country, so I wasn’t able to make memories with them. It made the holidays so much more special to be able to see the love between my son and all of his grandparents. Things look different now that my son is in college, but we’re flexible and grateful for any time we can all get together. Those memories of Christmases past are just magical.
There was once a time that receiving gifts was the most exciting part of the season, but now as the giver, I enjoy seeing the excitement and joy of others. As we gather together for fun, fellowship and celebration of the birth of Christ Jesus, it’s a blessing to have all of my family under the same roof. We’ve added our first grandchild to the celebration, so it’s extra special- more fulfilling and better than any gift!
I do something we call “Team Christmas” with my friends. I have a really close friend group and we are always hanging out, but holidays are the very best. We have a big meal together and just hang out. There is never a dull moment when the ‘team’ is together. Spending time during the holidays with great friends and family is the best part of the season.
Ever since I was little I remember making tamales. It’s a lot of hard work, but so much fun. From prepping the tamale leaves to making and spreading the masa. My absolute favorite is filling them with green salsa and chicken. It just wouldn’t feel like Christmas if we didn’t make tamales on Christmas Eve! We also make pozole and Mexican fruit punch during our Christmas Eve preparations. Other than the food, the best part is gathering and making joyful memories with my aunts, uncles and cousins as we cook, eat our Christmas feast and dance together!