A holiday tradition my husband and I grew up with is all about the food. Holidays are a time for family gathering around the table to enjoy a nice meal. And a typical Puerto Rican meal consists of pernil and arroz con gandules. Both of our mothers made this meal holiday after holiday. Looking back, hosting big family dinners was my mother’s gift to all of us. It was a time to sit around the table, TVs turned off so that we could eat, talk and laugh.
Now that I’m a mom, I find myself making the same meal to celebrate the holiday. When I’m in the kitchen cooking, the scents immediately bring me back to my childhood. I’m happy to introduce the same flavors to Norrin. And I welcome my family and friends to gather around our table.
Ever since Joseph and I have been together we’ve had a real tree at Christmas. Growing up, we always had an artificial tree. We both wanted the experience of having a real tree. I love the way it smells. And we love including Norrin in the process of picking up our tree.
Our new tradition has been Elf on the Shelf. Well, it’s not so new. We’ve been doing it for three years. When Norrin was diagnosed with autism, Christmas was a difficult concept for him to understand. And we wanted him to feel the Christmas magic. Elf on the Shelf has helped us create it. Every morning – from December 1st until the 24th – the Elf is in a new place and Norrin has to find him. We tell him that Elf flies to and from the North Pole to report to Santa Claus. We also tell Norrin that the Elf is watching so he needs to be good. I love reading the bedtime story and watching the look on his face as he searches for Elf every morning.
On Gift Giving
Joseph and I both work full-time and we feel fortunate to be a dual-income household. But I am still my mother’s daughter. I don’t want to spend a lot of money. Norrin has quite the Christmas list (like every LEGO The LEGO Movie set) and he’s a growing kid. He needs new pajamas, pants & long sleeved tees. I love that Sears has everything Norrin wants and needs.
Looking back at my childhood Christmas’ and comparing them with Norrin’s – I cannot help but notice the differences and similarities. Every family does Christmas differently and that’s okay. That only thing that matters is that we celebrate together.
Disclosure: This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions, thoughts are my own and have not been influenced in any way.