Christmas of Gratitude, Food, and Family.

The Winter Break was absolutely magical. Of course there was its ups and downs with everyone all together in the same house. Yet, we managed to create some more wonderful memories and I’ve got some wonderful photos to share with you. Christmas Eve was a whirl-wind day of activity and movement. Ethan and I went to his parents house for dinner. Then we rushed over to my house to pick up anyone who needed to carpool to my mom’s friend’s ranch out in Vail. The drive was long, yet relaxing and the stars were so clear out in the rural area. The gathering was held inside the unfinished barn, the stars sparking through the unfinished roof and heaters were placed around to keep everyone warm in the chilly desert night. There were many people there and a giant grill was aflame with strips of carne asada cooking in the heat. I could already taste the tender meat in my mouth as the aromas circulated through the unfinished barn. The christmas lights gleamed and the spirit of Christmas was alive. Everyone gathered around the food table to get their servings of frijoles, tamales, carne asada, tortillas, ensalada, salsa, everything you could imagine. It was a feast. We were too focused on eating that we forgot to take photos. The ice chests were filled with soda and beer. The Mexican music blasted through the small stereo on the ledge overpowering the conversations that had sparked throughout the room. It was peaceful, it was family.

About 2 hours later, Ethan and I went to Adan’s house back in Tucson and wished him a Merry Christmas to him and his family. We dropped off a cake, and they invited us to sit and warm up with a savory meal of pozole. His mother carefully brought over a large bowl and I was ecstatic when I saw the red broth, hominy floating to the top and the tender beef. I sprinkled on cilantro and drizzled lime over the soup. I was in heaven. We gathered around the television to watch soccer and we remembered we had to go to midnight mass. We gave our thanks and wished everyone a Feliz Navidad and went off to the Newman Center at the University of Arizona.

It was our first time and I was excited. Midnight mass is one of my favorite Christmas traditions. The church was lit dimly and candles burned brightly. I felt serene and peaceful. As I sat in mass, I thanked God for my family and my friends.

Christmas was here.

Ethan and I drove back to his home, wished his family Merry Christmas, ate some cake and I went home.

It was Christmas morning and everyone was excited! Gifts! Food! Family! But my mother made us wait until we all got dressed and ate all together. We opened gifts and I had to leave to Ethan’s grandmother’s house. I’m surprised I managed to eat more food, but I was exhausted. We watched basketball and lounged on the couches. Our entertainment of the night was his nephew, Richard, who is an extremely smart baby. He opened things he wasn’t supposed to, danced around, and liked to make dinosaur noises. When I returned home, we played Magic: The Gathering and I passed out while we were playing the game. I was drained. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

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