by Monica Sanchez
When I was young a child, back in the 90s and in the early 2000s, my parents and I would always go to my grandparent’s house for a Christmas Eve celebration. Every Christmas Eve, we would go to El Paso, Texas and would have family gatherings and I remember being excited and looking forward to opening the Christmas gifts. I remember we would start opening the Christmas gifts at my grandparent’s house before midnight. I also remember one Christmas Eve; I saw a group of my cousins watching “A Christmas Story” on the television. I was a little girl at the time when I first saw that Christmas movie and I enjoyed it. Since then, I been watching “A Christmas Story” every year when Christmas comes. I also loved staring at the Christmas tree at my grandparent’s house. I enjoyed seeing the Christmas tree neatly decorated with candy canes. My aunt saw me standing and staring at the tree one time and asked me if I wanted a candy cane and I said yes. She reached for one from the tree and gave me one. I was so excited to start eating it.
Going to my grandparent’s house and playing video games with my cousins was always a joy and I would always have fun playing late at night. I remember playing Mario Kart with my cousins and eating tamales at the same time. One of my favorite Christmas memories is seeing my whole family and gathering around the Christmas tree. When it was time to open the Christmas gifts, we would start with the youngest member of the family to the oldest. I remember how happy we all were when we gathered around the tree and prepared ourselves to open the Christmas gifts. When it was time to open the gifts, I remember seeing my little cousins getting excited and started counting how many Christmas gifts they received. I would always receive three or four gifts from my aunts and uncles. I didn’t mind receiving a little number of gifts, because I knew I would always receive more when I went back home to my hometown.
I also remember back in the 90s, my family would receive about 20 Christmas cards in the mail. I enjoyed reading each one, especially seeing Christmas cards that had pictures of the Holy Family. Another special Christmas memory that is close to my heart is when my family and I use to play different types of board games, such as Scrabble, Monopoly, and Jenga. Jenga is one of my favorite games to play during Christmas time. I remember how excited when we played the game, especially pulling one block at a time from the stack and hoping it does not tumble after pulling a different amount of blocks. It is always fun seeing the blocks tumble, but it is more exciting when the whole family is present to share the happy memories.
When Christmas comes every year, I always make sure I enjoy every moment of it. Because I know it is the special time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Every Christmas Eve, my dad and I would go to church and I remember one Christmas mass, the choir sang “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” I enjoy listening and singing to this melody, especially when it’s Christmas time. Every time I hear this song, I feel like it is a special one about Jesus and how special he is to God, to us, and for the whole world.
Monica Sanchez earned a Master’s Degree in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry from Southern New Hampshire University in 2016. She also graduated with honors and was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Monica was part of an editorial internship called Deliberate Magazine in 2017-2018 and published about 70 articles. In 2012, her poetry was selected into the editions called “International Who’s Who in Poetry” and “Starts in Our Hearts.” Monica’s poetry was also selected to be in the edition of “Eber & Wein Publishing, Best Poets of 2014.”