Here we are again, taking the too-many-miles-to-count drive from Goldsboro, N.C. to Corpus Christi, T.X. for Christmas. This year has been so busy that I realized I never even touched my photos from Christmas last year, so to force the Christmas spirit into my current bah humbug state and a way to remember what comes at the end of this drive, I pulled out my photos from the archives.
Christmas is always such a special time in Corpus. Family comes in from all over the country, tamales are made, music is played (even in tiny little kitchens), and traditions live on. Christmas has always been quite the party, and as we’ve aged and grown, we somehow never forget the memories that surround Christmas in Corpus. Sitting around in the afternoon drinking coffee and eating pan dulce with the Tías, exploring the south Texas valley produce stands and Kingsville, making turcos & tamales (in which my grandma taught us about Hispanic Jewish ancestors), and always keeping our family musical tradition alive, getting the ragamuffins to sing a tequila-laden “Jalisco,” and documenting every part of the occasion are only some of these memories that scream a Corpus Christmas.
So here’s to keeping the memories and the traditions alive and looking forward to what comes at the end of this long haul. ¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Nuevo Año!
Christmas always starts with making dozens upon dozens of tamales. Last year, Tía Elsie, Tía Dali, and Paul made the masa. We also make empanadas, however, only Grandma and Tía Elsie knew the key to perfectly pinching this delicious dough. This was Tía Elsie's last Christmas with us and even though we will miss her very much, we are so blessed to have spent time with her last year and have all the memories of her in our hearts this year.
We always try to make a trip to Kingsville to the King Ranch Saddle Shop. Last year, we met Madeline May the Javelina (according to Dad, it's a Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig, but let's stick with the Kingsville Javelina theme) who came to visit. Who wouldn't want a pig for a pet?
We stopped at a fruit stand outside of Kingsville in Driscoll, Texas when we were headed back to Corpus Christi and we met Maria. She joked around about my age and was astonished at the price of citrus in North Carolina, as our jaws dropped at her valley citrus prices. Her fruit truck made such a beautiful backdrop and couldn't resist but snap a portrait of her to celebrate her welcoming and mothering personality.
And of course, no trip is complete to Corpus without a post-Christmas party. This time, however, it was held in my grandma's tiny kitchen. Who needs NPR tiny desk concerts when you can have Grandma Tiny Kitchen Concerts? Either way, no Christmas is complete without a music-filled, overly documented (I might've climbed onto my grandma's counter for some photos), Christmas leftover's party!