Travel for Traditions

By Erika Walker
On December 1, 2016

Each year on Christmas Eve, we gather at a family member’s house around 8 p.m.

The house changes each year and sometimes there’s a pretty big debate on who will host it. Nonetheless, my family always makes sure the party happens.

My family is the pretty stereotypical. Huge Mexican-American family with 60 plus members - and those are only the ones that live in town.

If you’re wondering how we all fit comfortably in one home, the answer is that we don’t.

However, the party goes on, and we make it work by having children under the age of 12 play in one of the bedrooms, the teenagers typically socialize outside and the adults are spread among the inside of the house and garage.

The thing I look forward to the most at the party is my family’s potluck.

It’s full of Mexican delicacies like tamales and menudo for dinner.

I swear I could eat those two things every day for the rest of my life and not mind it at all. Sometimes a family member will bring a ham, turkey or even barbecued meats to add to our American roots too.

For dessert, there’s everything from cookies and cakes to buñuelos and pan dulce.

After a night of spending time with one another, catching up and listening to our favorite Tejano music jams, we start to wrap things up.

When the clock strikes midnight, we all go around the house and hug every member of the family expressing our love and wishing them a Merry Christmas.

Once that’s done, we take a moment to honor our family members who are no longer with us - and we especially pray for my cousin who died traveling back from our family Christmas party in 2005.

From there, everyone leaves and opens gifts at home within their own little families.

It’s moments like these that I will treasure forever.

Being in college, three hours away from my family, I don’t get to experience them as often anymore.

But no matter what, I make sure I’m home for Christmas.

Who knows? Maybe a few years from now Christmas can happen at my place.

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