By Misa Ramirez (aka Melissa Bourbon, author of A Magical Dressmaking Mystery Series: Pleating for Mercy (August 2011) and A Fitting End (February 2012)
Living the Vida Lola
Hasta la Vista, Lola!
Bare Naked Lola, coming April 2012!
La familia Cruz has quite a few holiday traditions.
- Tamaladas on Christmas Eve. Mami spends the whole day on December 23rd making the pork filling for the tamales. Papi grinds toasted sesame seeds (An essential ingredient, pero, shhhh! It's a family secret). Then the whole family, and then some, comes over, gathers around the table, and we spread masa on soaked corn husks, spread the filling on, and wrap them up. It's not Christmas without steamed tamales.
- Midnight Mass. At midnight. On Christmas Eve. Any man who isn't down with that, well, there's the door. Pero Jack Callaghan says he'll come with me some time, so I'm good.
- Posadas. We reenact the journey Mary and Joseph took as they searched for lodging. For twelve nights, a processional in the street goes from house to house, and each time whoever is playing the innkeeper turns us away. Cabron. But that's what happened. On the last night, Christmas Eve, the innkeeper lets the group in and we celebrate. I've played Mary once. My sister Gracie has played Mary something like seven times. She's a more traditional Latina than I am. Being a school teacher like Gracie? A respectable job. Being a private investigator like me? A man's job and totally unacceptable--at least to my parents. Jack seems to like me as Xena, Warrior Princess, though. Which is good because there's no way I could ever be Cinderella.
Jack's been gone a long time, pero now he's back in my life. But I remember that one Christmas when I helped his cousin, Margo, and ended up like a partridge in a pear tree. At least solving little mysteries and having my stomach tied in knots isn't a Christmas tradition.
What are your favorite holiday traditions? Any mysteries or long lost high school crushes involved?