Christmas Tamales


Sonja, Jacob, Maddie, me, Mikos and Jenny
Marcos, Me and Mike, the 2106 Tamale King

Whether we are prepared or not Christmas is upon us. Our home is all decked out and our annual Tamale Party will take place this weekend, before that we need to make tamales. We are Mexican and our tradition from generations back still lives on. I love tamales but the thought of making them is dreadful. My house will have tracking of masa in every room and I will be suffering “masa trauma.” Masa Trauma is when you are overwhelmed by the task of assembling the tamales. The masa (dough) is messy and ends up all over the place including your hair. My back always give out before cooking up the last batch of this labor intense job.  Mike prepares all the meat and the other secret stuff that gave him the title of Tamale King last year. The rest of the family assembles the tamales by spreading masa on moist corn husk, adding meat with chili sauce and finally the tamales get wrapped, preparing them for steaming. img_3367

The Tamale party consist of eating, (we hire a taco company) and then Karaoke, followed by the judging of the tamales. We made up rules for judging years ago and on a scale from one to five the judges rate: the taste of masa, taste of filling, presentation, and overall taste.  The judges have a great responsibility hanging over them. The contestants eagerly wait for the final announcement and for one year they have the bragging rights of the best tamale in the world.

I created the Merry Christmas game and it has gone over very well each year (I usually make up the questions at midnight before the the night of the party). Our son Mikos’ team always wins. Since I am the MC, accusations of nepotism are always whispered but it does not matter because Mikos knows all the answers.

Vatican Ornament
Olive wood ornaments from Bethlehem

Our guest will be subjected to forty-five years of accumulated Christmas decorations and trees in every corner. As a missionary I have purchased ornaments from different countries, my favorite are the religious ones. The main tree has ornaments from the Vatican, these I treasure and handle with much care. My Holy Land tree is filled with olive wood ornaments from Bethlehem. I have ornaments from Nepal, France and Spain. I also have a tree dedicated to ornaments from Mexico. It takes three days to put up all the trees and garland but it makes my heart joyful to know that we are doing it for Jesus, how I love to celebrate the Lord’s feast day.

My Christmas Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, we celebrate your birth in knowing that as we look at all the beautiful Christmas light we are reminded that you are our light and light always dispels all darkness. May we be ever mindful of  your holy presence during this time. May you bless those who do not have shelter or food for their families by putting it on others hearts to to aid them. May you bless those who are suffering with grave illness, heal them Lord and draw them close to you. Bless all those who are in the armed forces protecting our country and bring them home safely to their families. Bless all that have lost their way and bring to them to the foot of your cross. Heal families that are apart and bring them to a spirit of repentance. Bring comfort for those who have lost love one and let them feel your comfort. Thank you Father for your most precious gift Jesus and thank you beautiful Blessed Mother Mary for saying yes. Amen

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