Neon American Tradition (Part II)
Merry Christmas everyone! If you didn't read yesterday's post, Sugi and I shared our holiday traditions. We were fascinated by each others' stories that we wanted to know what everyone else's were all about. The more we asked our friends and families to share their stories, the more we appreciated these "American Traditions". We realized the holidays are experienced differently by every one. After all, America is a land of blended cultures, filled with diversity... and rarely do we get to hear others' stories. Yesterday we shared our American Traditions, and today, we're sharing some of our friends' American Traditions... enjoy!
Claire's American Tradition
The most important day during December for the Dutch side of my family was waking up on December 6th to our dutch clogs filed with treats and presents from Sinterklass (St. Nicholas in Dutch) riding on his white horse and delivering presents to all the good children. The night before we would sing Sinterklass songs put out our clogs in front of the fire place filled with carrots, celery and other treats for Sinterklass's white horse. In the morning, we would wake up to chocolate letters with our initial, hopjes, and other dutch candies that filled our dutch clogs.
Jessica's American Tradition
Our friend, Jessica Hackman, is Mexican American with country roots! You see her dad is from Mexico and her mom is Portuguese and German raised in Iowa. Here's her American Tradition:
Growing up in a large and blended family with separated parents always makes the holidays a little chaotic and calls for some major house hopping. As it stands today, this is the breakdown of my favorite aspects of my American Tradition:
My brother and I spend Christmas Eve with my Dad’s family (6 siblings and all of their kids and grandkids) - Mexicans are in a rush for everything that calls for eating and being loud together, so we like to celebrate a night early ;). Since my dad’s side of the family is habitually late to EVERYTHING we say that the celebrating begins at 3pm, knowing fully that people will show up around 6pm (I’ve learned to always round down by a few hours if the event is important). Leading up to the day, usually around the 22nd, a few of us squeeze in around the table in my grandparent’s kitchen to make TONS of tamales. It has become a more recent tradition to take a shot of Patron (or two…) to cheers my late grandpa, who added that part of the tamale assembly line tradition about 6 years ago (probably sick of having to deal with all of us…). The next day, Christmas Day, is always spent with my Mom and her extended family.
On my mom’s side: she tries, usually successfully, to encourage my brother, myself, and my boyfriend to stay at her house the night before Christmas – after we eat copious amounts of tamales and posole of course. We get a gift from our pal Rudolph that night, who is so kind and thoughtful to make us feel special a little bit early – he always brings us all Christmas jammies, which we wear to bed that night. In the EARLY morning, my mom, who is far too excited to sleep past 6am, but is kind enough to wait until 7am to wake us up, runs through the house to wake us all up to open presents. Did I mention that SHE LOVES CHRISTMAS? We then open gifts in order of age – youngest to oldest (her family’s tradition since she’s also one of six siblings). After presents are done we drink mimosas, eat lots of bacon and then sing very out of tune karaoke – my mom’s partner is British and LOVES his karaoke; Sweet Caroline is his go-to jam. My mom thought it was a good idea to get him a Wii with a karaoke add-on for Christmas a few years ago so it’s her fault if the neighbor’s dogs howl and that we have this newest holiday tradition (that I think we all secretly love, shh…).
Overall, my holidays are always super busy, loud, and chaotic, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy Holidays everyone, may yours be as full of love and laughter as mine luckily are.
Again, we'd love to hear more of your American Traditions! Please share in the comments below. Happy holidays everyone.
Peace + Love