Ah Christmas, such fond memories. For me Christmas has always been more about our traditions, gatherings and food than being worried about receiving a multitude of gifts. Don’t get me wrong, getting gifts is a wonderfully, exciting thing however, for me, it pales in comparison to the joy I feel at honoring the Christmas traditions I grew up with. That’s why, now that I’m away from home, honoring Christmas traditions is so important to me.
When we were younger, our house was just as popular as my Grandparents house. Regardless of how small their house got (they lived in a retirement community toward the end), every Sunday everyone of their children and grandchildren would pile in to say hello and spend family time together. When it came to celebrating the Holidays though, my parent’s house was the ultimate destination for all gatherings. I have such fond memories of a house filled with food, music and laughter, especially at Christmas.
Honoring Christmas Traditions – Posadas
I remember one year we even held an impromptu Posada (a reenactment of Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem, put to song) at our house. It wasn’t as elaborate as other’s I’ve seen since, but it was truly heartfelt.
It is all of these Christmas Traditions, recipes and memories that I try to reenact even away from home. See I left home to attend college when I was 18 and never looked back. While I only live a few hours away, it sometimes feels like we were world’s apart. It is during those times, especially at Christmas, that I make sure to attend neighborhood Posadas, because for some reason, it doesn’t really feel like Christmas until I do. I guess it’s because it provides a sense of community, because it doesn’t end with the reenactment, it continues through as everyone in attendance sits in gratitude for all the year has brought, while enjoying some tamales, Mexican hot chocolate y pan dulce (pastries). Then there’s also the piñata. You can’t help but smile as you see the joy in every child’s face as they anticipate hitting the piñata and receiving goodie bags filled with dulces (candy), oranges and nuts.
I don’t know about you but this year has felt more rushed than usual and at the beginning of the month I truly felt overwhelmed. Since attending a Posada last week though, things have become clearer and now I’m again looking forward to getting together with family because I realized that’s what it’s all about.
I tell you my living in the moment journey still takes work, but once I find the zone and start to live in gratitude again, everything clears up and life is good. To that end, I want to share with you my simple Gratitude Guide to keep you on track throughout the Holidays and beyond.
- Appreciate the ordinary vs. waiting for the extraordinary. When we do this, we shift our perspective and begin to be grateful for having food on our table, a roof over our heads, clothes on our back, our health, friends, etc., vs. waiting to lose 10 lbs, win the lottery, etc. before we’re truly grateful.
- Stop criticizing yourself and appreciate your talents, skills, personality traits, etc. that have brought you to where you are right now.
- Show your appreciation for those who have positively impacted your life by saying thanks, calling, sending a handwritten note/letter, or maybe cook a meal or bake some goods for a struggling friend or neighbor.
- Consider volunteering your time or donating money to those less fortunate than you.
Trust me, if you take time to gift yourself a few minutes each day reflect on these things, it will do you and those around you a lot of good because it is true, happiness does come from within. So what better time to gift this to yourself and those around you, than Christmas time. I say this a great addition to all Christmas traditions!
Merry Christmas everyone!
TEXAS POSADAS BLOG HOP
In 2013 I participated in a Texas Posadas Blog Hop as part of the Texas Social Media Network (#TXSocial). Please visit these other blogs for more on Christmas traditions, Posadas, food, etc.
12/16 – My Tots Travel
12/17 – Sweet Life
12/18 – Expecting The Unexpected
12/20 – Tejana Made
12/21 – Monica Wants It
12/22 – Sybilline
12/23 – Your Sassy Self
12/24 – ¿Qué Means What?
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