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how we are choosing to celebrate this year

We know that the holidays are a time to bring everyone together and celebrate our time together. But this year has certainly turned out differently than what we all might have expected. We know most are celebrating differently this year. With keeping one another safe as a top priority this holiday season, we wanted to share how we are celebrating this year and how we are keeping our traditions but doing so safely. 

Carlee's Top Picks

Each year around Christmas we usually get all of our family to visit us, and the chaos involved is usually half the fun of the holidays. We host a big Christmas party, go to a candlelight vigil each Christmas Eve, and then go up to our family’s cabin to enjoy New Years Eve. Its a time I have always looked forward to each year. 

This year it’s just my immediate family.  We won’t have a big party, have family over, go out anywhere or leave our home. Instead, we are doing a lot of socially distanced celebrating. More Zoom calls, safe movie nights, and dropping off food to those who can’t be with anyone this holiday season. The holidays are more about the people you spend it with and after the year we had I really look forward to just being with them. 

It's a Wonderful Life

Every Year, my mom and i watch this movie while we wrap presents. Its her favorite movie and it has become my favorite as well. While we can’t be cuddled up on the couch and watch it, we are planning on doing a socially distance movie night while still wrapping up some gifts. 

Shopping Small

Instead of department brands and going shopping at malls, I am shopping mostly online on stores like Etsy that provide personalized items and come from small businesses. I have been getting some great gifts that i can’t wait for my family to open on Christmas!

Zoom Parties

We usually have a big party every year. Instead, we are doing a zoom party. The people who are getting a plate of some party snacks we would have provided so when we zoom we could all be having the same food and drink we might be at a party. It’s going to be a great time!

Eduardo's Top Picks

Normally around this time my family would celebrate the Day of the Virgin Mary on the 12th of December. We would attend church around 8 for a two hour mass. We would also get to see the traditional aztec dancers. Since we cant do that this year it is most likely that we will be doing a small evening prayer with my immediate family instead.

My family also celebrates Christmas eve and Christmas day. This use to mean my family would take out the pans and start making tamales in preparation for a big party with my entire extended family on Christmas eve. Usually we would make tamales and bunuelos while others would make Posole, arroz con leche and empanadas. So basically everybody would come together with a whole bunch of food. This year we are still making tamales but we are only making for my immediate family. This is the first year that everyone is doing their own thing. The last thing we would do is wait till midnight and open presents one by one in front of each other. This literally would take 2 to 3 hours on average. Now its going to take all of two seconds with only my immediate family haha.

Bunuelos

Bunuelos are fried fritters and are delicious. There are no words to describe how good these are – especially with a LOT of sugar. 

Posole

Pozole is a traditional soup or stew from Mexican cuisine. This one is made from chicken and is sure to be a hit at any table. 

Empanadas

Not all Empanadas are filled with meat! This recipe has pumpkin  and They are SO GOOD.  I can’t wait to make these.

Georgina's Top Picks

I enjoy the holidays mainly because of the food and fun activities that I get to do with friends and family. Since I work at a school, I get a week (or two) off, so it is a time of relaxation as well as a celebration. Usually I celebrate the holidays with Las Posadas, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities. Though this year will be different.

I still plan on making our traditional tamales with my parents and have a small family meal with them for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and of course exchanging gifts. I will also do a lot of virtual “meetings” with my cousins and friends since we usually get together during this time. I have recommended some places to get Tamales and some virtual games that will make it a great experience.

Tamales

If you do not have time to make Tamales, you can always buy them! There’s a ton of places in Los Angeles area to order Tamales, especially during this time. I have listed a few of my favorites that I have tried myself.

Houseparty

Houseparty is the face-to-face social network where you can connect with the people. The app makes video chat effortless, alerting you when your friends are “in the house” and ready to chat so you can jump right into the conversation. Plus you can play games that you and your party can enjoy! I love playing the Pictionary Game on the app. It is totally free, you just need a smart phone/tablet or download it to your desktop using the Google Chrome extension.

Quiplash

Quiplash is a gut-busting battle of wits and wittiness! Just use your phone, tablet, or desktop (no controllers needed) to answer simple prompts, think of Cards Against Humanity, but online! It is pretty funny to hear people’s typed-in responses. Whoever has the most votes is claimed the winner!

Avatar Images are graciously provided by Eduardo Chavez. We do not own the movie trailers or movie posters posted here.