Friday, December 25, 2015

How We Celebrate Christmas Eve

My husband's family celebrates Christmas Eve with Mexican Catholic traditions.

My mother-in-law {and as many people as can crowd around the kitchen table} makes tamales. 

{This is my husband's sister, teaching Daughter to spread masa on a corn husk. My SIL is an expert at using the back of a spoon to do this. Tipthe easiest way to spread masa is with a plastic joint knife - the tool used for mudding over screws and nails in drywall.}
My SIL is an elementary school teacher {she was my little brother's kindergarten teacher decades ago!} and always plans things for the little grand and great grandchildren to do. This year the littles each got a goody bag when they arrived, with stickers, a couple of pieces of candy, a sharpened Christmas-themed pencil, and a Christmas-themed activity booklet. There was an ornament decorating station set up in the back room, pin the nose on the snowman, and a "dollar jump."
The little ones got to do a standing long jump next to a measuring tape of {real} dollar bills. Wherever each child landed, the "measuring tape" was cut, and the child got to keep that number of dollars.
The costume boxes get pulled out and the children get dressed as kings, angels, shepherds, Mary, and Joseph.
The children and a few adults go outside, with the outside songbooks. 
The rest of the adults stay inside with the inside songbooks. We go to doors around the house, asking for a place to stay {una posada}, and the "innkeepers" turn us away until we get to the front door.
The innkeepers let us in, and we sing a song of adoracion of Baby Jesus. {A new baby is welcomed into the family by portraying Baby Jesus in the Posada. Four years ago, Daughter and her cousin - the other little angel - shared the role of Baby Jesus. The years there isn't a new baby, we use the Christ child from my MIL's nativity scene.}

In the 14 1/2 years my husband and I have been married, we have never done this part, but I was told this is traditional: After kissing the Baby Jesus, one takes a piece of candy. The candies are called colaciones.
While the children are getting out of their costumes, my nephew leaves for "more cups," and a while later, Santa Claus arrives at the front door.
Santa Claus gives each child a gift...
This year, Santa brought Daughter a set of Hello Kitty hair accessories.
Every time anyone has asked my daughter what she asked Santa for this year, she's told them "a red dollhouse," and I've said, "But Santa's bag isn't very big, so a dollhouse might not fit." She was very happy with her hair accessories, but she did say to me in a whisper, "Mom, I wanted Santa to bring me a red dollhouse. Next year, can we write a letter to Santa and say, 'Dear Santa, please get a bigger bag'?"

Little did she know that she would wake up to a red dollhouse...

1 comment:

  1. Oh this is fabulous! I want to see the red dollhouse and Christmas morning pix.