Monday, December 27, 2010
Today I am counting my blessings of the past month and holiday season. I have many wonderful memories this month of taking time to be together and do seasonal things. I think it began Thanksgiving Day when we were sitting around the dining room table discussing the date for making tamales. We selected the 11th of December because that was the best weekend for us. So, as we made tamales, an all day project I might add, that is time consuming and involves a decent amount of work, we listened to holiday music. Traditionally, in many Mexican families, tamales are made on Christmas Eve. But, that evening wasn't going to work well for us because we had other plans for that evening. I just remember feeling so happy that we had started making tamales so early in the season (or month). It just felt like Christmas to me earlier, and prolonged the season for the entire month. That was fun!
The following weekend we went to see my sister perform in a show called A Contemporary Nutcracker. We made the long drive from Anaheim to Hollywood IN THE POURING RAIN. Thank God we made it safely, both ways. I just loved being together with my siblings, enjoying conversation and hanging out. (We should do it more often). After Mia's performance, we took pictures and then had dinner together at PF Chang's Restraunt. Because of the rain, and being the last Sunday before Christmas, there were holiday shoppers galore, and it took us so long to park. But, nevermind, we were together, hanging out, and having fun! (Thank goodness for Cupie's navigational skills. She was VERY GOOD with directions, so I was glad to have her in the car with us. Not the only reason, but just one). We ordered appetizers, and shared. Mia ordered the eddammame ( I probably just messed up the spelling) and they were so good; warm, soft and delicious. Jay ordered some ribs that were equally tasty. And, since Jay was traveling up northern California for Christmas this year, it felt like an early Christmas dinner with him. So, I was glad to have that time with him then. After this evening, I felt so much love and joy from being together with my fam. This night was definately one of the highlights of my December.
I loved seeing the Christmas lights on the homes in Brea near Starflower street. It was fun to dress up in our warmies: I think I had like 2 or 3 layers on, including legwarmers, a scarf and a warm jacket!
There was also a Christmas play at the Vineyard (our church). I really enjoyed seeing the play and being reminded of the Christmas story centering on Jesus' birth. We also sang Christmas songs on the following Sunday, and I enjoyed that as well.
Christmas Day was again spent with family. I picked up my brother and we drove together to our parent's house. Our grandma was there and we had dinner together. It was a fun, unexpected treat of opening presents as well. (Who doesn't like to receive and open gifts?) My dad drove from Anaheim all the way to Mission Viejo, to pick up my grandma and then again, IN THE RAIN, to take her home. My grandma was very appreciative of him; she loved seeing her grandkids and she said it felt like an "old fashioned" Christmas, I think she called it.
For me, I am glad I got to have multiple memories of Christmas this year. We made tamales, looked at the Christmas lights, saw A Christmas Carol onstage, watched Mia perform in The Nutcracker, had family dinner together, and visited with the grandmas on both sides of the family. I sang Christmas carols in church, watched a Christmas play, and listened to my good friend play piano (Nackwon). So many good memories. Grateful for the time together. Had an enjoyable holiday season. Spending time with family. Getting along. Talking. Laughing. Receiving gifts; not expecting to but, the saying is true: it's better to give than to receive. I think my parents enjoying giving as they are able.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Every year one of our family Christmas traditions has been a girls night out. During the holidays we would get together and see a musical performance. Sometimes with the girl cousins and aunties, and sometimes just my immediate family with my mom and sister. As of late, we hadn't continued in this tradition because for a while my sister and I were traveling for our jobs and hadn't always been around during the holidays at the same time. However, this year is different. We're both around!! So, last night my mom gave us a lovely Christmas present and we watched "A Christmas Carol" as a live performance. Even though I've grown up with most of all the holiday and seasonal stories, I was not familiar with this one. It was a "first" moment for me. If you are familiar with the storyline of A Christmas Carol then you'll know what I mean: it left me with a warm feeling inside. If you're not familiar with the storyline then I would highly recommend you read the book or rent the movie and watch. Thanks, Mom for that holiday treat!!