Saturday, January 3, 2009

Nostalgic Holidays


That is the sound my body made when my eyes opened on January 1st. As enjoyable as they were, it is nice to have the holidays over with, so that things can return to "normal." I'm still tired from all the visiting, eating, laughing, shopping, and driving. I spent Friday cleaning my house which had greatly suffered from neglect during the last couple of weeks. It is terribly satisfying to restore order where there once was chaos.

Despite the merriment and the joy I received over seeing my children squealing gleefully over their gifts from Santa (this was the first year that they were both old enough to really "get it,") I was really sad to be far away from family. For some reason, this year was especially hard during the holidays because I really missed experiencing some of the traditions from my childhood.

I missed helping my 'Buelita in the kitchen. Surrounded by ollas filled with pork, chicken, and beans, the smell alone was thick enough to fill my stomach. I remember her hands quickly, but rhythmically, swishing back and forth as she spread the masa onto corn husks. Her gray hair would be pulled up tight into a little bun at the base of her head, perfectly neat except for a few little strays that escaped around her temples and curled slightly in the steamy kitchen. Glasses perched on her nose, her old, sweet, wrinkled face would be flushed just a bit from the warmth of the stove and her own labor. A smile, never far from her lips, would spring up everytime she talked. And a little, white apron would rest on her plump, huggable body with little smears of pork or masa as decoration. She's been gone since I was 12 years old. And it surprises me a little just how much I miss her laugh, her voice, her happy spirit. How very, very sad that my children do not get to know her, laugh with her, love her as I did.

And I really miss the posadas. Dressing up and visiting with friends, our voices raised in song. The warmth of our host's home, the food, the visiting, the twinkle of Christmas lights and the carefully arranged nativities.

I miss Christmas sitting around a huge table with mama, nanita, grand daddy, 'buelita, tias, tios, primos, and friends. Noisy but happy, you know?

I think the best but saddest moment for me was when the phone rang VERY early on my birthday a few weeks ago. My dad calling from Spain to wish me un feliz cumpleaños, who then passed it to his sister, who passed it to her other brother, who passed it to their other brother, who passed it to their other brother! They all sounded so happy and I missed them so much. But it was certainly the best birthday wake-up I'd had in many years.

So many traditions. So much work for such a brief moment - but, ay! ¿Es un momento magnifico, no? One that forever remains in our hearts and minds.

I would love to know about your family traditions and hope some of you will share.

And here are a few of my favorite blogeras sharing theirs:
I greatly enjoyed reading Multi-Culti Mami's (Violeta's) latest contribution to Literary Mama and am happy to share it with you here.
And here is Floresita's post that shares some of her family traditions, as well.
And be sure to check out Carrie's fantastic collection of Latino holiday music here.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

ah, yes. i'm glad the holidays are done too but i too feel nostalgic. i'm lucky to have all of my family live in the same city and we all get to see each other on noche buena. every navidad is one that i never forget but i think this one was probably one of the happiest. it just seemed like everyone laughed a little harder, hugged each other a little harder and enjoyed each other a little harder.

feliz año nuevo!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...