Oh precious child, come to my house and let me love you for the holidays! The Christmas lights will be lit on the front porch and there might even be some in the living room and kitchen if we were able to get them all untangled from last year! The Christmas Tree will be lit, the presents will be in a jumble under it, and the kitchen will be full of big people and little people and cats and food.
My three sweet kitties will welcome extra love! The girls will rub wrap their tails around your legs and follow you around til you pet them or give them treats. My big male cat, Jasper, will give you The Look and if you don’t speak cat language, I’ll tell you what he wants…he wants you to sit down so that he can sit on your lap and purr and fall sleep so happy and warm. If you’re not into cats, that’s ok, he’ll go look at somebody else. My five adult kids and their spouses and partners and my 10 grandchildren will be in and out. There will be sticky little hands and cookie crumbs and hats and mittens everywhere! What a big happy mess it is! Babies are passed back-and-forth so their parents can eat. Toddlers will toddle about, leaving handprints on the floors and furniture. Everybody keeps an eye on the Littles and the house is regularly punctuated with shouts of “Baby in the bathroom!” and “Baby on the stairs!” Someone will come running, as everybody chips in to make sure all the kids are safe and loved. The bigger kids wrestle, watch horror movies and play with their phones. There will probably be a game of soccer in the backyard at some point when the afternoon gets warm enough. With over 20 people in the immediate family, that’s enough for a lively game of whatever-sport-the-kids-are-into. Often, it’s soccer since my kids are all adopted from Guatemala and soccer is Really Big there. As a parent of kids who spent their formative years growing up in another culture, I’ve always made it a point to love them exactly the way they are and not make assumptions about how they “should” act or do or be. They all know, and I want you to know too, holiday child, that you, too, are loved exactly as you are. The important thing is that you follow your heart, and I know you have a Big Heart, and that you love, and let yourself be loved. And if you have a partner, that person is welcome in our home too, as all are welcome be their unique, beautiful selves.
At some point, we’ll eat dinner and since the majority of the family is Latino, that means we’ll have mole with black beans, yellow rice, and handmade tortillas de maize. There will be chips, guacamole, potato salad and macaroni salad and we’ll drink homemade horchata and atole. Since the kitchen table isn’t big enough for 20, some people eat in the living room, some at the kitchen table and some at the island in the kitchen. It’s a great big free-for-all! After dinner, we’ll do presents in the living room with the Christmas tree and there will be wrapping paper and debris everywhere. We’ll take lots of pictures and digest our dinner til the kids start begging for dessert. Soon theres cake, icing and ice cream everywhere. Welcome to our big family holiday full of love! I feel you there in my heart, so please know that you are always welcome, and loved, cherished even, exactly how you are.
Bless you, my Holiday Child!