The Christmas season is certainly upon us, with fabulous reminders all around us ... Christmas carols, chilly weather, gingerbread lattes, tinsel and lights, just to name a few! From now until the New Year, I See You will be highlighting your favorite Christmas/holiday traditions. I am really enjoying learning about the unique and special ways you celebrate! Enjoy these and please send your submissions to Here are a few ideas of what to share:

• Favorite thing about the holidays...

• Christmas memories or traditions...

• Best gift you ever received...

• Special ways of ringing in the New Year...


JAMIE ENRIQUEZ - One old tradition we had when we were little: We would all get to open one gift before church (how surprising that it was something to wear to church!); then after church we would set out cookies and milk and head to bed. Very early in the morning we would wake our parents and sit patiently on the top of the staircase (still trying to figure out how all 3 of us fit - haha!) while mom and dad got their coffee before giving us the ok to run down to see what Santa had brought us!!!

AMBER DESUTTER GUERRA - Every Christmas Eve we go over to my parent's house and have a big Italian meal. My mom makes homemade lasagna that is delicious! Then, we go to Midnight Mass. On Christmas morning, we have a nice brunch and open gifts.

HEATHER TOMLINSON - December 2004 was the year Brad surprised me with my gift a little early. He said he couldn't wait until Christmas to give me a gorgeous ring and ask me to marry him! That's also the year we had a white Christmas.

BECKY RAMIREZ STOCKER - Best gift ever was a Care Bear digital watch (as a kid). What I love about the holidays is bunuelos (used to have them at my grandmother's) and spending Christmas Eve drinking egg nog with my family.

LESLIE EWERS - Favorite tradition is Milk Punch in silver goblets! With the kids old enough now it is really nice to sit and enjoy stories around the tree while sipping Milk Punch from an icy silver goblet. The best gift I received as a child was a Barbie house designed by my mother and built by my father. It was fully furnished with a kitchen, bath, three befrooms and a patio area. My sister's girls still use it!

MARTHA CASTENEDA - Favorite Christmas/Holiday tradition: Our favorite tradition is the Valverde family's Christmas Eve gathering . My aunts, Dora Valverde and Elva Valverde Kost, began the tradition more than 50 years ago, hosting the event together with my Valverde grandparents. We had homemade tamales prepared by my grandmother, Rafaela Guerra Valverde and any of her seven daughters (my mother and her sisters) who could lend a hand. My grandmother also baked pan de polvo to serve that evening and kept a pot of Mexican hot chocolate steaming on the stove. The succeeding generation has continued the tradition. My cousins Jeanne Valverde Martinez, Valerie Valverde, Diana Peña Perez, and I now host the family gathering in my home. The most memorable gift I ever received was a Barbie doll from my aunts Dora and Elva who gave a gift to EVERY relative EVERY year at our Christmas Eve gatherings. We all sat around the Christmas tree after dinner and opened our gifts as they were distributed by the aunts. My cousins Alice Valverde (Tutt), Diana Peña (Perez) and I, all the same age, each received a Barbie doll one year, but one of us got the Barbie that each of us wanted, and the story has been a source of comment and hilarity ever since!

Celebrating birthdays this week were Cassandra Swanberg, Ian Warshak, and Daniel Pena from Monday, while JR De Leon and Franna Schrock celebrated yesterday. Today's birthdays include Danella Hughes, Mary Beth Divine, and Susan Leahy. Ysa Rodriguez and Gladys Rivas have their birthdays tomorrow, while weekend birthday wishes include: Victoria Martinez, Sally Hamlin, Chris Westphal, Julianne Rankin, Celine Schulz, Alden Rush, Patty Ramon, and Cindee Godinez! Happy Birthday, y'all!!

I wish you love & blessings in the coming week and I hope to "see you" soon!


Note to all readers: You can find I SEE YOU on Facebook at Post your news, events, and birthdays on this page or send to Heather at: Remember, at least one week ahead!