This is the first time we hosted any type of holiday celebration at our house and we were all sorts of nervously excited for it. My family always gets together for Christmas Eve and we wanted to start some of our own traditions too, so we tapped into Ben's Mexican heritage (he's half Mexican and half Caucasian for those of you who wonder) and decided to make homemade tamales.
We made two kinds: Oaxaca Chicken Breast and Black Mole Tamales and a Red Chile and Pork Tamale (recipes from this book). Of course, we made the masa part without lard (recipe from this book), so it was especially fun to make healthy tamales. All I have to say is that tamale making is hard work! We spent most of Friday all the way up to midnight prepping the meats and the sauce (mole takes forever to make!) and Saturday morning was spent wrapping tamales. The girls got into the action and we had fun wrapping together as a family. There was also Ensalada de Noche Buena, Ceviche (my request), and Mexican Chocolate cake and all was made fresh and yummy by my mama.
It was a wonderful dinner and after Ben read an interactive story called What God Wants for Christmas and had different people read parts of the Bible aloud. After which, we made fresh Hot Mexican Chocolate and indulged in cake eating while my brother played some Christmas music and we all sang together. We even sang Happy Birthday to Jesus! It was really nice to be together and reflect on what the real meaning of Christmas is. Then, we made our way to the tree and had fun opening presents.
My girls are always way too spoiled by their grandparents, but my parents are getting better at understanding what we allow our girls to have. We don't want to saturate them with too much and we know grandparents like to spoil, so finding a happy medium is key. My parents are also good sports because I still give them my own Christmas wish list! Presents are fun, but my favorite part of the evening was being able to serve my family at our house. My mom always works so hard during the holidays to make it special for us that we were glad we were able to let her relax a bit and host the party at our house. Families, especially big ones, definitely come with their own sets of trials on occasion, but they also come with a lot of joy and happiness.
Christmas Day happies coming up next...