The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year because my family has so many traditions that make it seem like the world isn't moving a thousand miles an hour.

I have a very large family, my mom and my dads side, each family consists of about 20-30 people and every year we keep on growing. This does not include distant family members because of that, I have no estimate.

1. Thanksgiving grace


Wherever we are and whomever we are with, we never forget to bless our meal. Everyone brings delicious food whether it be tamales or lasagna or spaghetti or birria, etc. and we wait until most of us arrive. Then everyone holds hand and someone leads us in grace, once it is over we say things we are thankful for and then we let the feast begin!

2. Christmas Eve Secret Santa


Secret Santa is such a great way to ensure everyone gets a gift without having to buy something for everyone. When you have like 15 cousins, 10 aunts/uncles, and then significant others, you are stuck in an endless loop of indecisiveness. A part of you wants to get everyone something but the other part of you has a budget. Besides, secret santa is always a great time, everyone says something special about the person they got and it really lets us remember how lucky we are to have such a great family. Also, as a sidenote, my family celebrates on Christmas Eve so this is also a cute little sneak peek before checking under the tree.

3. Holiday Games


We don't really have a specific game. My dads family enjoys charades, sports, and more active things. My moms family prefers card games, loteria, board games, etc. But regardless of the holiday, something is played. Yes, we have played soccer in mild snow and yes, we enjoy it!

4. Christmas Posadas


This one is definitely one of my favorites. A posada is basically 9 days before Christmas Eve when people dress up as Virgin Mary and Joseph when they were seeking shelter. They reenact it through a small procession. There is also pinatas, bolos (treat bags usually filled with candy, peanuts, and mandarins), and delicious food!

5. New Years Superstition


New Years is loads of fun. At midnight, we all hug and wish each other a new year. Everyone is laughing and playing but one thing we never miss are the grapes. Everyone gets 12 grapes and if you dont want bad luck for the New Year, I suggest eating them. I am not quite sure if this is true but I can tell you that I skipped it one year and had a tough year. Happy New Year!

6. Three Kings Day Rosca


This is celebrated on January 6th and it is basically just a gathering of us with some warm chocolate and bread (rosca) to celebrate the three kings bearing gifts to Jesus. Inside of the bread there is little plastic baby toys and in my family, if you get that you have to make tamales for February 2nd, which is another holiday celebration for us

My family is one of the most important things in my life and I am so happy to be able to share this holiday season with them. Cheers to many more years of traditions!