Lola’s POV: A different kind of Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Lola's christmas collage HipLatina

Photos: Courtesy of Lola Montilla

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The holidays in Puerto Rico are mostly about “el fichuleo, el lechón, y la familia.” Parties and festivities are the biggest attraction of Christmas on the island, but under these circumstances, after hurricanes Irma and María, these holiday’s don’t seem as festive as before. With the power generation percentage still not being at 100%, thousands of people are still living without power, and that means – people living with small amounts of hope as well. We’ve gotten so used to expecting the parties and the gifts, that we forgot to be grateful for the things we typically have during the rest of the year. There hasn’t been much time to go out and buy gifts with all the time that we’re putting into repairing my house, but I’m not worried or frustrated to not receive any physical gifts, because I know that the symbolic ones and small moments are the ones that matter.

This year is special though. Although a little “amogollao’” I’m very excited. I haven’t been flooded with invitations to parties, or holiday postcards from my family and friends, and I have not tasted any “cuerito”, but my life is going back to normal and that makes the best gift ever. I got my power back about one week ago and it’s been non-stop working on the house, cleaning, rebuilding, and eating takeout food while we get a chance to go buy groceries to fill an empty fridge.

I can’t complain though. I get to do all these things while being in the comfort of my home, after spending 3-months living with my grandparents waiting to get the power back and fixing everything hurricane María destroyed. My brother arrived all the way from Boston to take a break from college, to spend time with us and rub it in my face that he gets to take all these writing and composition classes that I would kill to be taking. So amongst all this intensive cleaning and renovation, my dad is on his way to Puerto Rico as I am writing this POV. So, I am SUPER EXCITED! (Expect a car lip-syncing video anytime this week.) Here, my mom gets happier as the house starts looking better each day, so I love helping out and being a part of that too. My rescue cat, Bailey, is more than happy running around the house and prancing on the counters and having a place to release energy at (although the dogs are having a hard time keeping up with her speed.)

You see, this year I found the things that make my Christmas special.  It’s the small moments that make you feel loved, cherished, and make you feel glad that it’s Christmas once again. Christmas is not about the parties, or the gifts, or “vaaaaaacaaaay! #butfirstchampagne.” It’s family, it’s spirituality, it’s giving and not expecting something back, it’s loving the small moments, and I hope you, as much as I, will have an amazing Christmas and make it worthwhile.

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