My Merry Little Christmas

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Merry merry merry merry Christmas! So every year I spend Christmas Eve with my family at church and then my aunt and uncles house. Then on Christmas Day, everyone goes to my parents house for early dinner. Well, this year was a little different for me… While my family continued their warm Christmas tradition, I joined my best friend on a road trip to frozen Arizona. We drove there to see her Pop Pop and Grandma who live in 30 degrees and under weather. It was such a long drive but very much worth it! We heard it snowed a little last week but melted away within the day. I was really hoping for a white Christmas, but one filled with loving friends would have been just as great!

On our way there, we stopped at the Colorado river for a picture and then continued on the long, empty road ahead. The air was cold and the sky was clear. I couldn’t believe how many stars I could see once away from the city lights! It was so wonderful!

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Come Christmas morning I was comfortably sleeping in the guest room. I opened my eyes, wipes away the sandy dream dust, looked out the window and saw something amazing! It was snowing outside!! I jumped out of my bed and ran down the hall to my best friends room. To my surprise, she was already in the shower. I couldn’t wait any longer to run outside, so I did just that without her! Ha! When she finished washing up and getting ready, I broke the exciting news to her and we ran out there together! Falling snow on Christmas morning! Our prayers were answered!! This was such a wonderful treat!

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30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:30-35

It was a fantastic Christmas trip! We listened to Christmas music all week, stayed in our PJs until 1 and then started our celebration of Jesus’s life on Christmas Day! A neighbor was out of town for the holidays so we did them the favor of making sure all their bird feeders were full every day. The four of us were dressed very nice and had a feast for our Lord and Savior. It was so different than my normal, yet still so graceful and warm!

Some people couldn’t understand why I would offer to drive 8 hours to spend Christmas in the freezing cold with someone else’s family. But like my coffee cup said, “friendship makes the season merry!” and that it did! It wasn’t about gifts, it was about the love of Jesus, and I felt plenty of that this past week!

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Christmas Tamales!!

The time is here! Yup, that’s right… Tamale season!!! The warm house that smells of steamed corn, marinated pork and beef… snacking on chicharrones, and jalapeños!

So every year my grandma, aunt, and I get together to make tamales for Christmas! We wake up early, throw our tamale making aprons on, and meet at grandmas house to drink our cups of coffee together! Then, we get to it! Mixing the corn dough with the vegetable shortening and broth, getting it the perfect consistency! We add salt as we go until it tastes just right! It’s a messy messy job, but our aprons love it!

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil…

Ecclesiastes 2:24

This time of year is my favorite because in my family, the way we show love is by feeding each other. These tamales used to sell for twenty dollars a dozen, but we no longer take orders. The only tamales we make are the batches we give out as gifts. The more food Grandma shoves in your mouth, the more she loves you! Every year she teaches me how to cook something new. Over the past few years she has taught me how to prepare each kind of meat, the pork, beef, chicken, all different kinda of salsas to make the same meat taste different, and even a simple jalapeño and cheese!

The key to making your jalapeño and cheese tamales is to add a little bit of root beer leaves! Also, we’ve tried all the different kinds of cheeses, make sure your masa is salted just right and use mozzarella cheese! Your cheese will melt, but still stay in your tamale!

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This year she taught me to make chicharrones tamales with a green salsa made from tomatillo. Let me tell you, the chicharrones aren’t crispy anymore once you are done steaming the tamales, but they are still quite delicious!

I truly cherish moments like the ones I made today because my grandma and aunt aren’t always going to be around. And the really scary thing is no one else knows how to make these tamales! Without their recipes, no more tamales! I know, what a horrible thing to say, but it’s true! So, please! Look at your life and cherish the moments. They can end at anytime!

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