Christmas is a time when Christians around the world gather to celebrate God’s greatest gift to the world – the birth of his only son, Christ. For Latin Americans it is, above all, a religious holiday, a time to be with family and friends, to give and share from the heart. More than any other holiday, Christmas brings families together in a celebration of deep-seated traditions.  For Latin Americans it is a time of rejoicing at the triumph of light over darkness, a promise of hope and of peace on earth, good will among men. It is a time of giving and of sharing in the special foods and customs of the season. Christmas holidays were very special times for my family and I; memories of the commotion and excitement of preparing for the holidays are still vivid in my mind.  My mother and aunt Michita were accomplished cooks, and each mastered the preparation of breads, tamales, and cookies and chocolates to fill the paper bags that were put on the Christmas tree. I like to offer friends that come to visit during the holidays a cup of hot chocolate with chipotle, and one of my favorite cookies, butter crescents.

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