Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!
What this year means to me is celebrating at home with my family and keeping things simple. Looking back at this year's challenges and changes has made me reflect on only one thing: gratefulness.
Years ago, I wrote an article on "Holidays at home" for a local newspaper; I vividly remember everything about my childhood. Every year my cousins and I would gather around in my grandma's living room and open presents at midnight on Christmas Eve. We didn't grow up having a grandpa, so the women in my family are natural leaders and would put anything together for our growing family.
We gathered the week of Christmas to make tamales around my grandma's table. Every year, some of our favorites would be her homemade buneulos, a fried dough fritter or homemade flour tortilla covered in cinnamon and sugar. Oh, so delish! We couldn't wait to eat these with Abuelita hot chocolate or atole. The aromas still bring back the unforgettable memories of when I was little and transport me back to the best times of my life. It seemed like life was so simple back then. We didn't need a lot; we just needed to spend quality time with each other and eat incredible homemade food.
This upcoming year will truly be one of the best and most meaningful, not because 2020 wasn't the hardest, but because I fully appreciate my family and what we still have - jobs, support, and health. Leaving a legacy to my kids and grandkids is important to me; some people dream of the material side of things while I tend to focus on experiences. Travel is something that truly is important for me to have at least a couple of times a year as a family so we can understand other cultures, we can learn from others and reflect on how blessed we truly are.
My mom started a tradition of making sugar cookies with my kids every year, and this is something they haven't forgotten; we still talk about her recipe and how no one can make sugar cookies like my mom. I now have been blessed with my own grandkids, and every year we make cookies together. They love making a mess and decorating the cookies; they feel accomplished after creating their own magic.
Nothing brings me more contentment than seeing laughter around my dinner table, everyone sharing stories, and enjoying food together. Holidays at home means rolling out of bed and not getting ready, just relaxing and not making it stressful or perfect. I am learning that my perfectionism is a downfall at times and that simplifying everything this year will make it so much easier.
Salad: Italian Garden Salad
Appetizers: Charcuterie & Jalapeño Cheese Dip
Entrees: Lemon Chicken Picatta, Roasted Vegetable Lasagna & Chimichurri Smoked Beef
Sides: Baked Broccoli & Garlic Rolls
We hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! 🎄