TEXAS TRIAL LAWYERS REVIEW
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Nostalgia for the Holidays
If there’s one thing my childhood in Chicago taught me, it’s that we’re spoiled down here with our south Texas winters. As a warm-weather guy, I’m not complaining! I’ll take the cool, rainy weather over the blizzards we got in the Windy City any day of the week. As much as the lyrics in holiday songs may talk about pining over “white Christmases” and “winter wonderlands” this time of year, they never seem to mention things like black ice or frozen windshields. I’m far from a Scrooge, however. In fact, when the holiday music comes on the radio and the decorations go up around town, I get as nostalgic as the next person for the days of Christmases past. Every chance we could, my family tried to make our way to visit my grandparents in Port Lavaca for the holidays. But as I mentioned, we moved around a lot during my childhood. Still, no matter where I was in the world, from snowy Chicago to the deserts of Saudi Arabia, my family found a way to make Christmas magical.
When we moved to Saudi for my father’s work, we weren’t able to display our Christmas spirit in public. Being guests in a conservative Muslim country, we kept our decorations scaled down to a little artificial tree in our living room. There weren’t exactly Black Friday sales happening on every street corner, and few shops had many toys that would be on the list of a young American teenager in the late 1970s anyway. So imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I unwrapped my very own model Millennium Falcon. This was the height of the Star Wars craze, and I was a big fan. Needless to say, I was floored by getting such a gift. It turns out my grandparents had bought and shipped the gift all the way from Texas. In the days before Amazon, this was quite the logistical feat, to say nothing of the shipping costs. Being in Saudi Arabia certainly felt like being in a galaxy far, far away sometimes. That my grandparents went through so much effort to bring me a little slice of home for Christmas meant the world to me.
As many parents will attest, the real joy of Christmas is when you get to start playing the role of gift-giver. While my kids are older now, I still enjoy seeing their faces light up when they unwrap their gifts. Still, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that didn’t miss playing the role of Santa when they were younger. Sure, sneaking around trying to find the time to buy and wrap presents was tough, but playing a part in the holiday magic was certainly worth it! These days, Christmas is a little less stressful. It’s largely a time for being with family and reflecting on life, a nice change of pace from the day-to-day hustle and bustle. No matter how or where you spend your holiday season, I hope it’s full of peace, comfort, and joy.
Here’s to a bright new year,
Alex R. Hernandez Jr.
No matter where I was in the world, from snowy Chicago to the deserts of Saudi Arabia, my family found a way to make Christmas magical.”
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