Christmas Eve in New York

Matthew Centeno, Staff Writer

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Every year, my family heads over to New York, and gets together with my abuela and abuelo in their apartment. We meet up with my immediate family (as in primary or kids of those who are siblings to my father), and we all spend time there. We usually wait in the farthest room from the entrance, and play on my younger cousin’s XBox One, and lose to him, as he plays it all the time. It is still fun though, as I don’t always lose, so that’s a plus. We eat foods that my grandparents prepare, (which by the way, is almost ten times out of ten, rice, beans and chicken). We play and eat until eight o’clock, at which time we will open presents from one another. I used to get so excited for this part, always jumping up and down, attacking Nic, my twin brother, and just plopping on the floor as if I’m on a sugar rush. Everyone would complain and beg to open presents first, until we finally got yelled at, or until the adults got tired of dealing with us and had us do something else.

Then we all get onto the tiny couch parallel to the door, and get ready for pictures. The pictures are hard to remember the order, as it changes from time to time. Though, usually, it starts out with all the kids (basically anyone who isn’t twenty). We have the tallest in the front, and for a while, I was always on the bottom with my brother and the cousin who brings the Xbox One, as he is two years younger than us and usually about our height. This year, I outgrew him, so hah, not on the bottom. Once we are all in position we then they try and take the pictures, though it can be a struggle. There is always that one guy (as a generic term, I am also including the girls in this) that messes everything up. Smiling is hard for me, as it hurts if I smile for too long.

After the struggle that is the kid pictures, the adults get a turn, and it is smooth sailing from there. After that we all open presents. Back then, presents were the best things I could imagine, both giving and receiving, though I preferred receiving. In all honesty, I still do, as I don’t know what others like, and it is just a hassle. After all the presents are given though, all the kids get back into the farthest room and completely ignore the parents and other relatives up front. We continue playing the Xbox One until we leave, and it is usually Nic and I that leave last. That is my Christmas Eve tradition.