Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This season of holidays and traditions is one of my favorites. I get to mix Mexican and American traditions, new and old traditions. When my family first came to the states, they brought not much but the clothes they had and the excitement of a new land with new opportunities. They embraced everything American and immediately sought to learn the language and customs. They made the trek every year back to Mexico to visit family and once my sisters and I were old enough, we began to go at Christmas time as well. The Christmas customs and celebrations were unlike anything we had seen before. There were no Christmas trees, Santa Claus or even gifts, just a deep respect and joy for celebrating the birth of Jesus.
As I grew and had my own family I wanted my children to experience and learn the true meaning of the season and that it’s not all about material gifts. Although they have experienced a Christmas in Mexico, I have incorporated some of the traditions and customs I witnessed on our visits with family. In addition to a Christmas tree we also have a statue of baby Jesus in our living room and pray the rosary on Christmas Eve. My children have grown up with two cultures and the traditions of each. As they get older and we all get busier some traditions have had to fall by the wayside or adjusted due to time constraints or dietary restrictions. As others have experienced, in this economy the tradition of presents has been cut back and the focus is more on family time and the religious aspect as it should be. There will be one family gift this year (the much sought after Wii) that will hopefully have us playing and spending more time together all through the year. As I have incorporated these traditions into my family, I have received feedback that some of them are not followed through as should be….are the “tradition” rules set in stone? Who makes these rules? For instance this year we all gathered at mom’s to celebrate Christmas and I forgot to bring my baby Jesus for when we prayed the rosary. My mom insists I must now pray the rosary to it. Mind you I was the one who brought this tradition back into our family as she and my dad did not carry this on in all the years I lived at home. What happens if I don’t end up praying the rosary, will lightning strike me, am I condemned to the fires of hell for eternity? Who is to say - and whether I follow the tradition by the letter or have some slip ups along the way my goal is to create a special Christmas memory for my children and family regardless if tradition was strictly followed. This is probably why some traditions are no longer done. I’m curious as to what other families have done. Have they changed up their traditions due to time, new customs, etc? What are the favorites? Please share your thoughts, experiences.

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