Holiday Traditions |

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Did someone say Christmas? Already?! It’s been one roller coaster of a year, and we’re continuing to embrace the wild ride.

Christmas is a time that we all here at The Collective look forward to. It’s the joy of gathering and the hope of a new beginning. That’s what makes the holiday magical isn’t it? Taking a step back to look at everything using that big, childlike imagination. No year in recent memory is that more important than 2020.

We all know that this year is going to look different; our celebrations won’t be as grand, but the traditions of the past are something we can always look back on to bring us comfort. Here are a few of our Collective Cowgirl’s fondest tradition memories.

“My family takes it easy around the holidays. We’ve never been big gift-givers on Christmas; it’s always been about spending time with one another. My grandparent’s home is always swirling with excitement, with all of our relatives making their way into town for the holidays. We normally have an assembly line of siblings and cousins spreading masa into corn husks for tamales. My mom loves boozy apple cider, so we have a great time mixing cocktails and playing dominoes while the dozens and dozens of tamales cook.”

“We always end the night piling into the car to drive around town to look at Christmas lights. This year has been quite different with the pandemic. Most of our relatives are staying home this year. It’s definitely been a little more quiet, but still full of the same love.”

When she was younger, Presley would spend Christmas Eve with her grandparents. Her grandparents were all about making Christmas extra magical.

“Do you hear that, Presley? It’s Santa Claus!” she remembers. After opening gifts, her family would all come together and make it seem as though Santa were paying her a visit. This production included literal sleigh bells ringing and the noise of reindeer footsteps on the roof. Santa (her grandpa) was even sweet enough to drop off her gifts to her personally. 

“It just made Christmas fun and magical and enjoyable. It was the cherry on top to an already good night with my family.”

“I grew up Buddhist and for a long time, I just thought Christmas was about getting gifts. But the older I got, I realized the biggest thing my family took away from the Christmas holiday was gathering and celebrating the fact that we were all together on the same day at the same place.

My family usually cooks what a picture-perfect Christmas dinner would look like, but we’d always have our Laotian staples on the table too. Think papaya salad and marinated beef that was later grilled. The day after Christmas we always used the leftover turkey to make Turkey Pho. So good!”

“Before I moved my family has always made tamales. Usually, it’s my mom, my aunt Adela and my Grandma. They’ll make like 20 dozen tamales for themselves and the rest of the family. If they had enough time or patience they’d make some to sell. 

They are by far the best tamales I ever had. So it’s hard to try new ones because I’m a little biased and picky when it comes to the taste and consistency of the masa haha. 

I’ve always helped make them, but I never knew exactly how it was done. 

I’ll be learning today for the first time so this will be so exciting to be able to pass down when I have kids.”

“My husband and I really, really love this time of year. We let our kiddos pick out a tree from the Troop 80 tree lot and adorn the entire house, inside and out, with fresh greenery, handmade citrus garlands, & Christmas trinkets we’ve picked up on our travels from years past. My husband, Josh, looooves to cook & I love to host. So naturally, we use the few days off to do both. We started a new tradition three years ago where we have an intimate group of those nearest & dearest to us over to the house on Christmas Eve for an extravagant cocktail hour (although it often goes on later than planned). Last year was one for the books! We ordered oysters & caviar from our favorite shellfish farm and served up champs & 5 star cocktails. After everyone leaves, we put the kids to bed and don our Santa hats. The only thing that could make this annual tradition better is if our kids would sleep past 5am on Christmas morning!


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