The three generations of Christmas, how the Saiz family celebrates Christmas

Provided+by+Bryanna+Martinez+%0AThe+Saiz+family%2C+Christopher%2C+Denise+and+Bryanna%2C+take+their+annual+photo+with+Santa.
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The three generations of Christmas, how the Saiz family celebrates Christmas

Provided by Bryanna Martinez 
The Saiz family, Christopher, Denise and Bryanna, take their annual photo with Santa.

Provided by Bryanna Martinez The Saiz family, Christopher, Denise and Bryanna, take their annual photo with Santa.

Provided by Bryanna Martinez The Saiz family, Christopher, Denise and Bryanna, take their annual photo with Santa.

Provided by Bryanna Martinez The Saiz family, Christopher, Denise and Bryanna, take their annual photo with Santa.

Bryanna Martinez, Assistant Opinion Editor

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Growing up, the delectable smells wafting from our kitchen, the charm of holiday music and the beauty of lights shining in tiny Christmas towns warmed my home.

For each of the last 15 years living in Oceanside, my family and I have begun decorating for Christmas during the week after Thanksgiving. These decorations will stay up until at least “Dia De Los Reyes” — the Epiphany on Jan. 6 — or sometimes all the way to February.

As the tree went up, I would hand my grandma or my mom decorations to hang. After the tree was done, my family would hang bulbs and lights on the front of the house and place lighted wireframe reindeer and a nativity scene in the yard.

Over the years, my tasks have grown from helping my mom, to decorating on my own, including adorning the stair banister with trinkets — some of which we have had forever.

In the Mexican Catholic traditions my family follows, “la Posada” (or the inn) is the Dec. 16th-24th celebration of the Virgin Mary and her husband, Joseph, finding a place to stay before the birth of Jesus. We sing Christmas carols in English and Spanish, pray the Rosary  and enjoy meals together.

A large table in the kitchen is filled with dishes of mole, shredded beef, rice, potato salad and beans, and the party includes a surprise visit from Santa Claus for family photos.

On Christmas morning, I watch my mom and my grandma cook. I ask questions on how to prepare the Christmas feast: How do you carve a turkey? Score and glaze a ham? What is in your stuffing?

I hope to continue these traditions at home and pass them along for future generations to come.  I also hope my little brother continues these traditions with me. In the end, the gifts under the tree don’t matter; memories and traditions held from generation to generation do. That is why Christmas traditions at home with my family mean a lot to me.

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