A Mexican Christmas

 A harsh reality hit me this year. This may very well have been one of my last Mexican Christmas's for quite a while. With all the uncertainties of residency (ie. pay, location, vacation time) its possible that we may not be able to come back home to see my side of the family or Derek's for that matter for a couple years. So this year I took it all in, literally!! Now of course it wouldn't be a special day had we not started out with a tantrum in the middle of the kitchen.

 But once the tears and screaming subsided there was turkey, stuffing, tamales, potatoes, cranberry sauce and more to be had.

One of my favorite things this year was the atole. I love it each year but I love it even more when someone mistakes it for the gravy. Atole is a Mexican sweet gravy, in so many words, that has the appearance of well, gravy! This year with the Utah family coming to join the action I made sure to prep everyone to not mention the Atole confusion. Some played along and some decided to grow a conscious. But there was one, Lins! " Wow, this is really good gravy." " Who made it?". It took every ounce of strength I had to not laugh out loud. It' too bad Big Papa didn't get some on accident. But what can I say. It's a tradition. Just about every, well White person that has entered that house has done it.

 Of course the majority of the night was spent opening the possibly hundreds of gifts to be opened. That's what happens when we have over a dozen grandchildren and then nearly a dozen immediate children and parents combined. Here is the little guy opening his first gift. The look of shock is priceless. And I have to say he does love this little airplane or "Eh-pain".
 This year was great. For our little growing family its becoming more and more like the Christmas we hope to establish with our children. One filled with family, service, less gifts and more love for what we have. For me, I want my children to have good memories of us together.

 Me and my Dad, about 5 years old.

The most memorable and new tradition this year was the service aspect. Now I can go on for days about how difficult it was to get this together and how it would have been easier to cancel it. But lately I'm not much of a quitter. If I want something I'm going to make it happen. So we did volunteer work at a soup kitchen where my Mom lives and got to serve dinner to about 400+ people. Sporting our newly acquired "Team Florek" shirts of course.
 Last but certainly no least was the crafts. Besides our tree I spent a good amount of time sewing some gifts this year. And I must say I was quite pleased with myself.

Oven mitts w/ matching apron.

so there you have it, our Christmas in a nut shell.

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