Outside my window this Christmas morning, I see my neighbor's children and grandchildren arrive from the suburbs to share their traditional tamales, everybody bringing bags of presents, smelling of new colognes and soap. One of the daughters-in-law is pregnant, and her new leather coat is wrapped tightly around her pansa.
As usual, I'm just watching, there's probably something wrong with me because I just like to look, admire, and write about Christmas.
Christmas always makes me feel weird. There is nothing sweeter than seeing las familias coming together like this, and I can feel their love for each other all the way to my upstairs apartment. It reminds me when I was married, and my ex-husband's family had their Christmas-frenzy on, lots of wato and Santa Claus-dressing, a buffet of food, teenagers trading secrets, scrabble boards opening up, football blaring on the television, and children crying because they're overwhelmed, I guess.
One year I tried to get my very middle-class nieces and nephews to go to the INS' Refugee Center, where I had read many Central Americans were being held. Don't ask me why, but I just wanted to hear their stories.
My then-husband's family thought I was crazy, so I talked myself out of it, and went for one of my five-mile walks instead on the beach, and read myself to sleep, as usual.
I regret I didn't go see those people, and regret that I like expensive gifts. I wish I was a better person, and its these two passions, both unfulfilled, that keep me away from Christmas, I guess.
Meanwhile, come see our RiverWalk if you're in the city. There's something about all those lights blazing on our little green river, in our poor city that tries so hard, that isn't poor with all the cultura and Tex-mexing and tacos and generous gente that will call you back to a Christmas that I don't think we're celebrating yet.