Holiday Moments

One thing you might now know about me is that I grew up everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean Brazil, Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Miami, SF Bay Area, and Los Angeles. Oh, and there was even a year in Venezuela squished in there.

Many images come to mind when I think of Christmas. Many houses. Many hallways to trot down anxiously in slippered pajamas to see what Santa brought.

Christmas in Miami? Once the gifts are opened, usually we end up at the beach or in the pool. That’s where I’m headed this year, and you better believe I will be floating in the Atlantic on Christmas Day.

Christmas in NY or Connecticut? Snowman-building.

Christmas in Los Angeles? How about a movie in the afternoon?

That’s what you do when you move a lot. You adapt. Experiences are shaped by our environments.

But my family has many traditions that I hold dear to my heart. I don’t know what Christmas would be without all the special meals my Mom cooks. She makes a Brazilian treat called Habanada. Every year. Without fail. That is just an accessory to the traditional family meal. An encore, really.

Christmas Eve mass is another tradition. And for many, many years, my Mom was the official gift-passer-outer but that role seems to be shifting now. We’ll see what this year holds.

We play cards. The game of Canasta is big in my family. I have very clear memories of sitting on my grandfather’s lap as he taught me the game. I don’t think a Christmas holiday goes by without a massive family tournament in which I school both of my brothers and then proceed to lose to my parents. All right, all right. Sometimes my brothers win. The coolest thing is that now my kids are playing. I can’t tell you how fun it is to see my little guys in on the action. Nothing warms your heart like seeing your sons talking a little smack to their uncles—my brothers.

I’m raising them right.

That brings me to my main point. The places have changed. Many things have stayed the same. Honestly, I love the traditions, but the only thing that really matters is that I’m with my family. Everything else is just bonus.

Have a very Happy Holiday. Hold your loved ones close!


Hmm, canasta. I've never played - maybe I'll start a new tradition, if it involves smack-talking!

You said it best!- being with family is what it is all about. What a great post.

As long as you make the best of your situation, you'll always have fond memories. It's the adapting to new places and keeping up with traditions is when it gets interesting! Thanks for sharing, Happy Holidays!!

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