These are a few of my favorite things

barajas family thanksgiving

I love that one of my most vivid memories about Christmas as a child is an old plastic ball of fake mistletoe hanging from the hallway entry of my childhood home and seeing my parents kiss under it every single time they passed underneath. Now as an adult, my husband does the same maybe not EVERY time we pass underneath it but for sure that first night when I decorate our house and to pass that memory on to my children makes my heart smile.

I love that Christmas carols get played the day after Halloween. Yes, I’m that girl.

I love that I came from a small, close knit family that always spent holidays together. I don’t remember much of my father’s side of the family during holidays after my grandfather remarried and what I do remember, quite honestly, I don’t want to repeat as a memory for my children to be burdened with so I focus on the good parts of our family for them. I hope that the cycle of dysfunction diminishes as much as it can in my generation. I realize now that I cannot change the past but I can help change the future. I love that my children see this in me and my actions.  I also love that my mother always wanted a large family but was unable to. Because of that, she welcomed, and taught me to eagerly welcome all friends into our humble homes as family when they needed a stable, loving family to go to.

I love receiving Christmas cards… I’m talking the old fashioned hand written card with home made cookies attached in a holiday themed tin can or red ribboned baggie and hand delivered kind of cards.  These cards come with big old hugs from the giver and a story of what has happened since we last saw each other that can last for about an hour.

 

I love the smell of Christmas. Pine trees and cinnamon and orange and apple and clove… lots and lots of clove and tons of food in the oven! A hodgepodge of scrumptious scents swirled together with laughter and love and the sound of classic carols softly playing in the background (my favorite is the Christmas Song), laughing, glasses clinking and thick fuzzy warm blankets wrapped around everyone on couches in the living room with the fire crackling in the fire place as we sip coffee and nibble on tortillas rolled up with cajeta and/or chicken and cheese or pork tamales with ketchup on top.

I love crisp winter-ish mornings with a fresh brewed cup of coffee and by cup I really mean the entire pot! Y’all know I’m not exaggerating on this one. Sitting in the back porch as the sun rises and the birds sing and squirrels greet me for their daily seeds in over-sized pajamas, fuzzy toe socks and furry blankets is the bomb!!! I used to always rush rush rush and be late anywhere and everywhere. Taking the time to ENJOY and cherish the little things that create joy around us had been forgotten… until now.

I love that I now prioritize praying the Divine Mercy in the morning and realizing that 18 minutes a day praying for someone else comes back to me 24/7.

I love that we can use only the light of the Christmas tree and candles for a month.

I love that the winter cold gives us the excuse to hug each other and it’s ok.

I love that our winter really isn’t winter at all but more of a warm Autumn so we get occasional cool fronts and don’t have to shovel snow in the mornings before school or work. I love that we’re an hour and twenty minutes away from the beach and can still enjoy it on Christmas day.

I love that my greatest most cherished gifts don’t have designer labels, or price tags, or gift receipts, or wrapping paper. I love that I am not impressed with stuff but by experiences and time with those whom I cherish most.

I love that even though I have reached the entry level of family matriarch-ness and the family that I once knew is no longer the way I remember it, I still have photos and video to share with future generations of the life we used to have. I know that although my children may not cherish them immediately, when they reach my age or their children or grandchildren may have questions and be curious about their family history. I know I have a responsibility to tell my family’s story as accurately and as fully as possible because it is a great one. Digitizing and scanning for duplication (so that the originals stay in as pristine condition as possible) for them is one of my greatest gifts to them as it was receiving them from my grandparents and mother who took incredible care of them for me.

I love that my boys and I can spend all day playing board games or any variation of Mario games and be totally content.

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I love that by realizing all this… I get to sleep in on Black Friday and have no issue with it one single bit. Y’all go right ahead and fight over that 10% discount of that thing you’re getting yourself in debt for trying to impress that person you don’t really care that much about and quite honestly wouldn’t lift a finger getting you out of the debt your got yourself into.  I seriously have to shake my head at those who spend the night in tents trying to be the first in line when they open the doors. Y’all go right ahead. 20 years from now, will that gift be heirloomed to your grandchildren?

 

 

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