They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year….

They say it’s the most wonderful time of the year! 

Actually, it is! It is a time to spend time with family and friends, give gifts, help out people in need, celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, or whatever it is that you celebrate around this time of year. I love putting up the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate, watching Christmas movies, wrapping presents, and my new favorite-going to Midnight Mass.

But of course around this time of year, it makes me a little sad because I miss spending time with with my mom and dad who are gone. 

I miss putting the tree up with them, I miss my mom making tamales (oh the smell of tamales: the dough, the chicken, the chile guajillo…delicioso!)

Now the tradition is coming home to my sister and brother. And can I tell you what an amazing feeling it is? Of course I loved being with them in the past but now that we are older, coming home to both of them is home.  I mean, sometimes it felt like World War III in our house back in the day! I cannot tell on how much there were days when I despised one or the other. And even now, geez…there are some days where we’re just done. Zero. Nil. Goodbye. But in the end, we come back to each other. We check in and make sure the other is alive or even say “hey remember when…” And of course I have SO many additions in the family! While losing two of the most important people in my life, I gained six people. Plus 100. (Okay not really 100 but a lot of people).

 It’s funny how life works, when you lose some people in life, you gain others and sometimes it’s more than you expected! I’m not gonna lie, I used to feel like my current family was so out of place and that I wasn’t normal because my mom and dad weren’t around. But then I realized that the perfect family wasn’t just having a dad, mom, sister, and a brother. Family is so much more than that. I’m going to preach a little bit about Jesus here but a couple of years ago at Midnight Mass, I was struggling, being sad, wishing I had the perfect family. And guess what? The homily was about family. Jesus was not born into a perfect family. His mom was asked by an angel to give birth to the Son of God, his earthly father was not his true blood but he accepted a woman who was bearing a child whom he didn’t conceive with. This makes me think of step moms and stepdads who help play a role in their step kids lives and that takes a lot of courage. Even grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and friends who play a major role in a kid’s life. I felt happy and relieved hearing this at Mass, I felt like God heard what was on my mind. Jesus had all that He needed. It was exactly what I needed to hear and to be reminded to be grateful for who I have. 

I really hate this whole thing where people wish they had a “normal” family. What is a normal family? Well, for sure there are some crazy family members we could do without but that’s what makes each family special. Each family has their own little crazy. So remember to be grateful. You never know when their last day will be. I know it’s easier said than done and it’s hard to be grateful for family members who are difficult.

And family is not necessarily blood-related. It’s the ones around have been around who care about you and make sure you are doing okay. 

Speaking of not knowing when it’s someone’s last day on this Earth…George Michael. Totally was not expecting that. And it had to be on Christmas Day. When it’s your time to go, no day is an exception. I’ll be saying a prayer for his soul and for his loved ones. 

I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays and time off with their loved ones. If you’re not with your loved ones, then I hope you are making the best out of each and every day because you deserve to make the best of it.

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