All I Want for Christmas MY FAVORITE FAMILY TRADITION
What sticks out most in your memory about the holidays? My approach to Christmas is the same as Thanksgiving. It’s not about the gifts; it’s about hanging out with family and enjoying the company of our loved ones. It’s also about tradition. For many Cuban-American families like mine, that means things like roasting a pig in a caja china , which I’ve written about in the past. But traditions don’t have to involve a huge amount of work or large quantities of meat to be special. Sometimes, the simple traditions are the most important ones.
have the pot on the stove, a mix of sweetened condensed milk and regular milk heating up. As it warmed, she’d take a knife and shave the chocolate into the pot. She really took her time, but that’s part of what made it so wonderful. It was my favorite thing about Christmas, and it had nothing to do with lights or trees or presents. It was just one of those little things that make you love the holidays all the more. It’s been five years since my grandparents passed away, but I still feel tied to them with this tradition, which my grandmother handed on to my wife years ago. So now it’s Melissa who stands by the stove and shaves Menier chocolate into the pot, a tradition that I hope will continue in our family for decades to come. That’s the power of tradition, isn’t it? It makes us feel connected to family. We may not always remember what we did each Christmas, or even the presents we received. But we remember the little traditions that our families have, and we hold those close and pass them on. That’s why all I want for Christmas is hot chocolate and toasted Cuban bread with butter. I hope you get everything that you want this year, and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
“That’s the power of tradition, isn’t it? It makes us feel connected to family.”
My family is small, but we’re tight-knit. I spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents as a child, and I’d either spend Christmas Eve with them or come over on Christmas morning. Either way, my grandmother would make her special Christmas breakfast: hot chocolate and Cuban bread, toasted, with butter. It was incredibly ritualized. She had a specific process. If I close my eyes, I can see her standing by the stove, unwrapping the yellow Menier chocolate packaging with the foil underneath. She’d
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