It's an exciting and busy time of year during the holiday season. With all the holiday hustle, it's so easy to breeze through the special times with family and friends. It's important to take time to reflect and be present. Every year we like to take moment as a firm to come together and pause in the midst of the holidays. Read our 2019 BLF Holiday Reflections below!
Russell: Growing up, we always had basketball during the holidays. Even as busy as we were, we always made the holiday season about family time, food, and rest. One of our big traditions was doing cards on Christmas day and going out as a family to the mall the day after Christmas. We would each buy the other something in person and then we would catch an afternoon movie (or two) and go home for a nice dinner to cap it off. When I think of Christmas and New Years, I think of time to recharge, time to reflect on the past year, and time to look forward to the amazing year ahead of us. I so much look forward to having coffee in the morning and reading a book for a few hours. At night, my family and I usually play board games and tell stories. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season this year.
Ashley: My family always celebrates Christmas on Christmas Eve. Our holiday is called Noche Buena! The day starts with cooking and ends with delicious Cuban food! At the end of the night, we all open presents together. Christmas day is a day of relaxation and leftovers! Fortunately for us, my niece’s birthday is the 23rd of December, so the whole week is one big celebration after another.
Rosie: My family’s Christmas celebration starts on Christmas Eve. We all get together and have a big family dinner that usually always consists of tamales and pozole and just have a great time together. After dinner, we usually play Christmas games and have my daughter, nieces and nephews make gingerbread houses while they wait to open up their Christmas gifts at midnight. We realized that keeping them busy keeps them from asking every five minutes “Is it time yet” for them to open their Christmas gifts. On Christmas Day, my family and I get together for leftovers and hang out and have a good time together. It is those moments of spending time with each other that we all cherish and hope to keep our tradition going for many, many more years for our children.
Nicole: One of my favorite things about Christmas is just how involved our family dogs are. Sasha -- our beloved yellow lab who passed last fall at thirteen years old -- was the “Christmas queen” of the house. As a young puppy she learned what Christmas was: cookies and milk out at night means she gets a giant bone with a ribbon on it in the morning. She loved having everyone at home for the day and, most importantly, tearing the wrapping paper off of everyone’s gifts (gently, of course). She taught my dog Ramsay, who is now three years old, how to unwrap gifts, too. Ramsay enjoys it just as much, shredding the paper to bits. And this year I fully anticipate Ramsay will pass along the tradition, teaching my parent’s new puppy, Roscoe, how to do the same. It will be Roscoe’s first Christmas. We humans never look forward to the cleanup, but it’s always worth it to see the dogs so joyful!
Desiree: Every year on Christmas Day my family and I always go over to my grandmothers house to open presents. Obviously you're expected to receive grandmas present in a cereal box, or mac & cheese box, a ramen box. Nana is always creative so you never know what you're going to open up, but you get the point. Every year we have new guests whether that's new friends joining us, new boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. Someone new is always joining the table. When my family and I know someone new will be joining us for presents we always want them to feel included and open a present as well. Anyone can imagine how hilarious it is watching people's reactions opening up a ramen box and saying “aw thank you I love ramen” or opening a bag of avocados and saying “Avocado, thanks!” its hilarious. Obviously the real present is underneath they just have to dig for it. I love that we have kept this tradition going for years.
Natalia: My family is more of a Christmas Eve group. Christmas Eve night is all about getting ready for Santa to come! We all get together for tamales, rice, and beans, and Christmas movies. We bake my grandmother’s pecan shortbread cookies for Santa every year (and steal some for us too). Some years we will make some trail mix and have the kids throw it around the front yard for the reindeer to eat when they stop at our house. No matter what, we always open one present on Christmas Eve. Growing up, I would always wonder what it was before I opened my one gift. It only took me about 12 years to realize that it’s always our Christmas pajamas, which we wear to our traditional Christmas day breakfast the next day! Christmas morning breakfast consists of a strict pjs-only rule, more presents, and lots of relaxing. Our family is always growing and changing, but one thing that will always be the same is our love for this season!