Christmas Eve at my Aunt Chita's house was THE place to be, at least the place I always wanted to be. I KNEW I could count on certain things to happen. Since we usually lived in a different state, the times I was lucky enough to be there it was if I became an instant celebrity. EVERYONE (that being more cousins than I could keep count of) stopped by my aunt's house on Christmas Eve for her "open casa". When they heard that we were in town as well then I could be assured of plenty of squeals and hugs. Who needs presents when a child starving for love got more than she could ever wish for at my Aunt Chita's? It's funny how Christmas memories can blur together however the ones that I was lucky enough to spend at my aunt and uncle's house are unblurable.
She liked no I should say LOVED Christmas decorations. Every inch of her small home would be decorated, including elves, snowmen and reindeer in the bathroom! One year my parents hung glass ornaments from the ceiling at our house in California. My aunt liked it so much that she adopted the same idea. (I personally always liked staring up at them and seeing my face look all goofy)
It was always very comforting to me to could count on the decorations, the family, the FOOD (especially the tamales) and her saying every year that "THIS IS THE LAST YEAR I'M GOING TO DO THIS". Christmas Eve at my Aunt Chita's is what I like to muse about especially when I hear folks getting all frustrated about the shopping they have to do, the crowds, the this the that.
Thank you auntie for the very special place it has in my heart.
I miss it as I do you.