Now that I've shared my family tradition of always running a little late, I will tell you about the differences in holiday traditions my husband and I now share. These differences drive us a little crazy because at age 40-something we have lived with them for so long and now having to compromise has been a bit uncomfortable.
On his side of the family, there is ALL DAY football on Thanksgiving day. On top of that we eat our holiday feast for lunch instead of dinner. Which means you have to get up early and start the cooking before you even get the coffee maker going! Last year I was still half a sleep when I was trying to calculate when to put the bird in the oven and let me tell you, it is embarrasing when you do accounting for a living to have your father-in-law point out you can't do simple math.
There is no dressing up for a full day of sitting in front of the T.V. watching, pro-football and college football (and if there was peewee football being aired on that day we would be watching it as well!). Football is only interrupted for digging in to the leftovers and the cat naps induced by the turkey feasting.
On my side of the family we have Thanksgiving DINNER. Usually after 6 p.m.(ok, more like 7 since a few of us show up late) which means you can sleep in, have breakfast, take a shower and then get the prepping and the cooking going. There is little or NO football. Family comes, (the older folk still dress up for the occassion) eats and actually interacts over desert or a good old fashioned game of LOTERIA. (For the newer generations Loteria has been replaced by UNO). Our stuffing or dressing is BEEF not cornbread . (I've been told if it's not cooked in the bird it isn't STUFfing.)
Christmas! On my husband's side of the family we gather with friends Christmas Eve. We open presents Christmas morning after having stayed up late putting together toys for the kids. You then have to rush thru your morning getting yourself together before you get in the kitchen to cook for a Christmas meal. Again, usually LUNCH! You later gather with extended family not present for the Christmas lunch, and though you are thrilled to visit you can hardly keep your eyes open from the late night, early morning and big lunch! Mean while you have leftovers that will sit in the fridge or freezer until they are unrecognizable and end up making your sick or making you feel guilty for tossing them!
Christmas on my side of the family means shopping for those last minute gifts Christmas Eve because of the usual late announcements of EXTENDED family visiting for the holiday and though you are happy to skip buying a gift for the adults, you just don't want to ignore the additional kids. So, after that mad dash, we gather for dinner at someones house for our Christmas celebration! We eat, we drink, sometimes dance or watch a movie, we try to stay up until midnight (try, because the older we get the harder it is!). We open gifts after midnight. Yes, midnight!! Because SANTACLOS (no misspelling) is still pretty new to us. It is a "northern" tradition adopted in Mexico. In Mexico children get holiday gifts in early January from LOS REYES , The Kings, or "Three Wise Men" for those who are Catholic.
Christmas day we get up really late, play with our new toys, have leftover tamales or empanadas for breakfast and then go visit extended family or friends. There is no cooking all day long, only heating up leftovers which usually only last a day or two instead of a week in a fridge. Though you may have a fridge full of food brought back from your family member who hosted dinner the night before or if you hosted it what you couldn't make people take home; because everyone brought over at least one dish that would feed a large portion of it to every single breathing organism present in the house! With the large number of "tios" and "primos" visiting all leftovers disappear quickly! (my husband hates this)
So as another year gets on the way and my husband and I begin to plan where we'll spend our next family holiday (Easter, Mother's Day, etc..) I am thankful my procrastination in posting this blog allows me to wish you a great non-family obligated holiday! Happy Superbowl! May your favorite team win, and may the commercials and half time entertainment help those of you who don't sleep and breathe football bear watching the game.