A two-year old’s Chicano Christmas

You’re not going to believe this,
but I was born sitting at the kitchen
table with a tamale already in hand.
Of course, some say, that I was born
on a pool table, but that’s another

I still remember the hogs head
simmering in a pot as my uncle
Louie and his buddies sat listening
respectfully as my grandfather
spoke about times gone by.

My uncle didn’t notice, that I was
busy sinking my two front teeth
into his pachuco hat, man I would
eat anything back then.

They say when I was two years old
I took off to town wearing only my
grandfathers hat and a diaper. Good
thing my mom noticed, as I was
walking right in the middle of a
busy road.

Ever since I was little, I always loved
Christmas, not because I would get
presents but because it was a special
time for family to get together.

The smell of the capirotada wafting
in from the kitchen, and all those new
wingtips and chuco hats to chew on,
man it just couldn’t get any better.

Of course some of my uncle’s buddies
didn’t take kindly to me messing up
their newly shined shoes but I just
thought that’s what a spit shine was
all about.

My uncle Louie and his buddies were
pretty laid back, at least until my sister
came in with all her pretty friends. You
should have seen them chucos tripping
all over their selves trying to impress
those rucas.

Personally speaking, back then I wasn’t
impressed at all by rucas. Maybe it was
just that I was more mature than the
chucos. Or maybe it was that chewing
on a tamale or a pachucos brand new hat
was more in my nature back then.

Anyway, Christmas will always be my
favorite holiday, the Christmas lights,
the decorations, family, food, friends.
Now, if I can only remember where I
left the tamale? Hope it wasn’t in uncle
Louie’s hat, because he’s wearing it!

Reprinted with permission of our amigos at LatinoLA.com.