We all have days to celebrate with family and traditions we share with them. For me it is always pleasant to remember celebrating Christmas with my family in El Salvador. I always remember my mother cooking dinner on December 24th. My mother would buy my siblings and I, new clothes. The most exciting things my mother bought were the rockets that we burned at midnight. From a young age, I was inculcated with the values of love and respect towards my neighbors all through this very special date of the birth of the child Jesus.

Preparations began about three weeks before Christmas. My mother, along with my dad, created the menu for the Christmas Eve dinner; They always ended up choosing to make duck or Indian chicken tamales. I helped my mother cook, along with my other older sisters, by putting the “masa” onto the banana leaves for tamales. “Curtido” was another essential ingredient to accompany the tamale, this was a sort sauce or extra dressing. The “curtido” was the easiest part of the dinner because it was chopped cabbage, onion, carrot, oregano, salt and vinegar. The preparation for the tamales dough was a little tedious because my mom must pre-cook the dough. She boiled for several hours until the dough texture changes. The duck and all the other ingredients must be pre- cooked too. The last companion was the drink my mom had to brew the coffee in a pot until it boiled. Even if we were small our parents did not care if we had a lot of coffee. Another beautiful memory I have about this holiday is that my mom, a week before Christmas, went to the city market and bought us our new clothes. I always remember the dresses with ruffles that she bought us with so much sacrifice. It was the same style for all of my sisters and me, they only thing that changed was the color and size. And we could use it throughout the school year until we were worn out or broke from so much use. I was very excited when I finished our school year …

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