My Holiday Traditions: Tamales, Baby Jesus and Santa!

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect.
I am so thankful to have only wonderful memories of the holidays. As a kid you mostly look forward to the presents, but the gifts aren't what last. The memories are what last a lifetime. I feel so blessed to be able to remember and share some of my fondest memories with you all, starting with one of my favorite holiday traditions: shopping for that special dress just for Christmas. A few days before Christmas, my mom would take me and my sister to Sears to buy our special Christmas dress, tights, and shiny new shoes. Going to Sears is a tradition, since my Grandpa Lara worked there for more than 50 years, Sears was also where mi abuelita would take my mother and her siblings as children. 
Each year of my childhood, Christmas Eve was spent with my Mother's side of the family, my grandparents, many aunts and uncles and about 20 cousins. The house would burst with the laughter only cousins could share, the smell of my grandmas tamales, and the alcohol induced adult conversations that as a child, made no sense whatsoever. At 11:45 p.m on Christmas Eve, one of the older cousins would pass around a ceramic baby Jesus doll for all of us to kiss. I don't know the origin of this tradition of ours, but it is still alive. All these years later, our children now kiss baby Jesus before any presents are opened. 
Christmas morning was spent with just our immediate family and since I was the baby of the family, I would wake everyone up shouting "Santa was here!" The rest of Christmas Day was spent with my Dad's side of the family complete with another set of traditions. After dinner all the kids would gather around the Christmas tree and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and just as we were finishing up Jingle Bells, Santa would come bursting through the door and everyone would take turns sitting on Santa's lap and taking pictures. 
I love that for the most part our family still gets together to spend this special time together. Although some have grown and gone down their own path, it seems that Christmas always brings us back together and now the next generation, our children, are making their own memories. Each family has their own traditions that they hold close to their heart. The article How My Latino Family Does Christmas Differently, talks about the different ways this particular multi-cultural family celebrates and how they have adapted over time.

Let's talk Christmas, tell me: 
What traditions do you hold close to your heart? What traditions have been passed down from past generations? What is your favorite holiday memory? 

Sears is giving back and bringing the tears! #MasDeLoTuyo

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are my own.

It's funny, but growing up I always thought of Sears as the nicest store around. I remember learning that you could take your broken tools to Sears and they would replace them. But mostly because whenever I pass the Sears in my town, I always think of mi abuelo. Mi abuelo Thomas worked there for over 50 years. Sears was a big part of my moms childhood growing up and she always shares about her fond memories that my grandpa had of the company. Because of that personal relationship with Sears, I have always thought of it as a family oriented store. Just like my mom did growing up, we do a lot of our back to school and Christmas shopping there. I love that at Sears, you can always count on getting more – more value, more brands, more rewards and more ways to shop. To demonstrate all the ways Sears offers more to its members and customers, it has produced a video series called More To You featuring surprises with real people, based on real tweets from people who want to give more to the ones they love.

This video is a tear jerker for sure, so grab your tissues. It really is heartwarming to see how appreciative and grateful Jasmine is. When you are a kid, you don't realize all of the sacrifices that your parents make for your happiness. That all changes once you become a parent yourself. I never had any idea what sorts of sacrifices I would be making once I had kids.

Having my own kids has helped me to realize what my parents have sacrificed for me and my sister. I never had to want for much when I was growing up. But thinking back, my every day memories of my parents include my dad getting home late from work and my mom always running errands and cooking in the kitchen. We never did any vacations while I was growing up, because my dad was a self-employed business owner, he could never justify taking time off. Everything he did, the long hours he worked, his unavailability was all for our family. I see it so clearly now. I also recognize now how hard they are still working for our family. Life has never been easy for my parents, but as a kid, I didn't see it. I think I'm appreciative most for that, for the happy faces they always had for me and my sister.

So in this video, Sears visits Jasmine, a young woman who wanted to do something special for her hard working father and tweeted @Sears with #MasDeLoTuyo. Little did Jasmine know that he had a surprise for her as well.

Do you want Sears to give more to you like they did for Jasmine and her dad? Tweet @Sears with #MasDeLoTuyo and Sears just might give more to you too.