When I was younger, Christmas was probably the most anticipated day of the year. I knew Christmas was coming when my grandma would start praying the rosary everyday starting from the first of December. My grandfather would spend days working on putting lights up around his house, while my grandmother would build a beautiful “nacimiento” that took up half the living room. The days slowly got shorter and colder but it was always warm and welcoming in my grandparent’s home. Since we are a Mexican family, we have always celebrated with a big Christmas eve dinner until midnight to welcome the beginning of Christmas day together. Christmas eve was a night spent with my big family eating tamales(which we were not allowed to eat before we all prayed as a family), dancing, and enjoying each other’s company. I remember the laughter and the fun I had dancing to songs my mom and aunts used to dance to when they were young. My cousins and I impatiently waited for the clock to tick 12 to open the presents, never really caring what the present was but just wanting the excitement of ripping through the perfectly wrapped boxes. We even started to have “snowball” fights using the tissue and wrapping paper from all the presents, which would quickly end after we accidentally broke something and pissed off all the parents.
Now that I’m older Christmas is different. It’s never as exciting as it once was when I was younger, especially since my grandparents moved back to Mexico a couple years back. I have actually come to kind of hate the holiday season. It starts earlier and earlier every year and somehow you can never escape the relentless Christmas carols on repeat since before Thanksgiving. Despite this, I was able to appreciate a very nice Christmas eve dinner with my family this year. Maybe it was because I have been away for so long since I started college that I truly appreciated just being around all my family once again. Although it will never compare to Christmas when I was younger, I’ve learned that in the end it really isn’t about the presents, carols, or Christmas trees. It really is just about getting together with family and enjoying each other’s company by sharing stories and some good laughs. Family has always been an important aspect of my life and I’m glad I’m back home to appreciate them again for a little while. I hope you all enjoy the season with your loved ones. Take care and enjoy this photo of my little brother and me in our modeling days.