Rituals & Traditions

As is standard, I’m posting this one day late. But it’s worth it, btw do you have any left over rosca?

As I’m writing this, I’m currently running on…

Hold on had to check Fitbit to confirm, less than 5 hours of sleep. This week has been a little rough, I haven’t been sleeping well. Fine, I will admit than one night it was because I was up reading “To all the boys I loved before” I know, don’t judge.

Now, I did watch the movie before I even knew it was a book. I can’t deny, I fell for Peter. So, today…Sunday. I’m basking in the “just watched a silly-rom-com” glow. Which one? Ha! Yes, you guessed it. I watched it again. I mean now I have the book as a reference, which ruined it a bit because I was like “they missed so much” but it still made me squeal like a 14-year-old girl.

As my John Hughes movies do, it’s so fitting that they talk about sexy ass Jake Ryan and his sweater vest. I mean, papasito!

Why? Did I watch this movie? Not that we need a reason to watch movies that make you feel silly, hopeful, and warm, all the while making you crack up at how much you shamelessly love these movies.

The reason for my quirky and romantic movie watching is simply because it is part of my “self-care Sunday ritual”.

So, Sundays are the days I reserve a few hours for myself. I take extra-long showers, mask my hair, give myself a good body scrub (my soft-gentler version of the lady at the Korean Spa), and a facial. Followed by a nice homemade dinner and a glass of wine as I watch a movie, read a book, or write.

I had not practiced my self-care ritual since I moved, so I decided to get back to it. This time, I left the wine out. My liver is still recovering from my weekend with the BFF earlier in December.

Had my dinner, made popcorn for me and the nugget. Made me some Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (have you guys tried this? I mean Trader Joe’s you really picked up your game with this one, it’s really good!), gave the nugget his half-charged tablet (that was purposely done) and turned on Netflix.

Why am I sharing this?
Because this is a ritual. One in which every single action has a meaning. Let’s break it down.

  • I’m consciously putting aside time for me. As a single mom, that’s hard. But in order to love him, I got to also show me some love.
  • “But it’s just a shower” Calm down haters! It’s not. “But it is.” But it’s more of what you make it.
  • From the products I use to the candles I light, everything serves a purpose.
  • Everything makes me feel good. Everything makes me feel calm and everything makes me feel loved.

Even the books and movies I watch line up. I want to feel that mushy feeling you get when you are watching rom-coms, inspired, or excited. But if thrillers and horror flicks make you feel that way, then knock yourself out. You do you boo!

There’s something about self-care that really makes you mindful and grateful. Especially if you put ceremony into it; for example, when you are scrubbing your legs. Thank them, for carrying you around, for taking you here and there. Thank your feet for putting up with your tight ass high heels, we all know you got no business wearing them, but damn do they bring the outfit together! Thank your arms for helping you show people you care as you hug them tight. For helping you carry those grocery bags up those stairs, “Two trips? Not on my watch, I can carry 8 bags up no problem!”

Rituals are moments that allow you to be mindful and present. Do you have any? Before you say no, you might want to think about it a bit. I’m sure you do, you might not realize it. I’ll share some other examples:

  • When I first open my eyes, I quickly turn off my alarm. Take a deep breath and I say “thank you” to the Universe for another day.
  • Before I drink my coffee, right after I wash my teeth I drink a glass of water. My way of gently waking up my system. Warm water is even better, but I settle for room temperature.

I’m saying ritual, to others they might be traditions, habits, practice, and /or routine. No matter what you call it, I think they are special and very telling about the person you are.

For some reason rituals/practice are front and center for me this year, as are family traditions.

Yesterday, was the first new moon of the year and I did my first moon ritual which included goal setting and crystals. I will be posting more about that soon in the SHE-nanigan category this week.

Today, is January 6 el Día de Los Reyes Magos, the Epiphany. We celebrate the day in which the Three Wise Men following the star of Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the Baby Jesus.

Side note: Did you know that during Baby Jesus’ time frankincense and myrrh were of more value than gold? No joke.

Some cultures, Spanish and Mexican eat a Rosca de Reyes on this day. It is a cake in the shape of a ring, dried and candied fruit that adorn it symbolize the Reyes’ crown. Inside of it you will find a baby Jesus, if you find a baby Jesus…honey the tamales are on you! Typically, in Mexico you would have to host a party on February 2nd, el Día de la Candelaria, this is the day that is celebrated as the purification of the Virgin osea her 40 días.

On el Día de Los Reyes, people handout gifts and have a big celebration. Here’s a cool website that has some more information on this holiday.

Well, now that I’ve educated you a bit. It seems like a big deal, right? This is not something my Salvi-side celebrated. All that I knew was that the 6th was the Reyes day, we took the tree and all Christmas decorations down after this day. Which I have to do tomorrow, by the way.

However, we do acknowledge the ceremony of it. By this I mean, every December my uncle brings out his Nativity set, which includes the three kings, angels, the star, Jose and Maria. The star of the show does not come out until midnight on Christmas eve technically Christmas Day. He brings the little nugget out, we hug, we kiss the little baby, and we pass out gifts. That is one tradition that has been in my family for decades. This year my kid was able to be a part of it, with the setting up at least because he fell asleep early on Christmas eve.

But I wanted to do something for him today, I had a vision for it. It went like this:
Invite friends over, buy a rosca, have some tamales, pan dulce, maybe some churros, and some chocolate caliente. We might even play some loteria and explain the tradition to my kiddo.

Beautiful right?
What actually went down was:
I stayed in my pj’s and robe until 3, I was able to guilt my mom into making me some pancakes, proceeded by self-care regime, with leftover Chinese food for dinner. Ha!

However, I did explain to him what today was and why it was important. During bath time. I told him we would light up a candle to resemble the Star of Bethlehem. I told him that maybe they would bring him a gift tomorrow morning.

Nice save, right?
Kind of. I did forget the king’s names and for the life of me had forgotten frankincense was one of the gifts. Plus, I did not have a plain white candle, the only ones I found were some that we gave out for his baptism as recuerdos. Do I have a gift? Did I know that he was supposed to have found the gift this morning? No and no. But I am committed to starting this tradition for my son. So, we lit that recuerdo up and luckily for me he has some birthday gifts on “reserve”. As in he received so many toys for his birthday, we put some away for later, which will be brought out when we get rid of some other toys. Mami’s you know what I mean, right?

Will I try to do this again next year? Yes.
Will I be better prepared? Honestly, I don’t know. I will try.
Will I at least have a rosca? Maybe. I don’t even know if I like them.

For now, I’m happy I tried and most importantly, that my kid is too small to remember the mess I tried to pull off.

Not a bad day, continued one ritual all the while trying to create a tradition for my kid.
50/50, not that bad.
That’s life, right?

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