The holiday season is in full swing and I am excited to go home. Christmas w/ the Cuenco and Santos clan is one of the funnest times of the year. I arrive in California on Christmas Eve, just before midnight and in time for Noche Buena. My dad usually prepares a ham, nilaga or tinola, and other trimmings so that we can have a snack as we open presents. The next morning is the nearly all day affair at my grandmother’s house on the Cuenco side.
Walking into my grandmother’s home is like being ported back to the Philippines. She has an outdoor kitchen for all the major cooking since all the extended family start flowing in shortly after noon. She typically wants her immediate family there in the morning so we get first dibs on the food. We spend much of the morning and afternoon there and then head home to rest. We will probably see my mom’s side of the family later on that evening.
It sounds really tiring, but spending Christmas away from immediate family is just not the same. Furthermore, this will be my sister’s first time home for Christmas in 3 years. It’s going to be a blast. I hope to revel in the noise, family personalities, stress, and festivities the whole week that I’m there. Best believe I’m taking pictures.