Ahh yes, tis the season, ladies and gentlemen. It is time to spend hours in airport security, traffic, and retail stores in a supposed effort to spread peace on earth and goodwill towards men. Many of us who have large Latino families, however, would gladly fight through crowds at the local Macy’s than spend just a few hours with those insane family members who always seem to emerge during the holiday season.
Don’t lie…some of you are already reaching for the bottle of coquito in an effort to take your mind off of the impending storm that will roll through your houses with the ferocity of a thousand rhinos in just a few days. And all of our crazy stories always seem to have four distinct commonalities.
Feeding: Some of our most precious holiday memories surround the utterly epic deliciousness that is created on Christmas day. But for many of us, it wouldn’t be a Latino Christmas without the typical decent into madness and idiocy. Yes folks, because it seems that Latino households can shatter the usual laws of physics and thermodynamics. I mean, where else but in a Latino home on Christmas can it be nearly 30 below zero outside, yet over 100 degrees inside? Jesumagnifico finds Himself hanging on the nearby crucifix, surrounded by walls drenched in condensation from the heat of the stove and oven. And yet, no one seems to mind.
Fighting: Basic principles of psychology teach us that in stressful and noisy situations, tensions will rise. It is already 100 degrees in the house, but of course, every radio and TV has to be turned on loudly (and usually on a different channel for each). Amidst the conversations (read: shouting matches), emerges the one conservative uncle who is fond of regurgitating cable news, against the militant “brown pride” cousin who has just finished listening to his new Calle 13 album. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Fleeing: Surely the madness ends when the eating begins? Ha! There are now available projectiles at the disposal of the conservative uncle and militant cousin. There is that one aunt with terrible table manners, who thinks she is whispering as she gossips about the couple sitting next to her. Then there are the extended family members you only see once every 365 days, who show up at just the right time to grab a plate-to-go. People are offended, some walk out, and others take the fight outside. Hey, more pasteles for you.
Fornication: Let’s face it, some of these holiday gatherings work better than your local singles bar. But even if you are there with your significant other, the nighttime is usually when you can finally relax and enjoy some “quiet time” together. That is, until your grandmother walks in on you, since heaven forbid you lock your bedroom door at her house. That would be grounds for chancletazos, even at age 30.
No matter how insane it can get, we always wind up coming back next year. For better or worse, there’s just something about family that no amount of insanity can ever break. Happy Holidays everyone, and be safe and mentally sound.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.