identities

I Started Yearly Trips To Mexico With My White Husband So We Could Better Understand Each Other

Courtesy of Araceli Cruz

Do you know how long it takes to drive from Southern California to Nayarit, Mexico? Approximately a day and a half. I know this because when I was a kid my family took that trip every year. I have such strong memories of those vacations; leaving our house around 4 a.m.; my mother packing up the car with an immense about of food; Los Bukis’ classics blasting on the radio; getting car sick and devouring Sal de Uvas. Most of all, it was just being together with my family, with no other choice but to remain a unit for the entire car ride until we arrived in my parent’s hometown of Jalcocotan. Now, we’re all grown adults, and those family trips are a thing of yesteryear. That’s why I have started taking my husband to Mexico every year to celebrate my culture, family and home country.

For the past couple of years, I’ve been slowly finding my way back to those memorable ventures by creating a whole new tradition — with my white husband.

Mexico has changed since I was a child. For as long as I could remember, the region where my family is from — Jalcocotan and Tepic — rarely experienced any kind of violence. Around 2009, however, a surge of shootings and murders occurred in the area and the increase in violence kept me away from my home country. Now that things seem to have gone back to normal, I’ve begun to go back and reignite the tradition once again.

I suppose, at the core of it, I miss that closeness I used to have with my family while we visited Mexico.

My siblings and I rarely fought, and neither did my parents. We just seemed to always get along and have so much fun while we vacationed. It’s like our day-to-day problems didn’t matter and simply faded away. So bringing my husband, Aaron, to Mexico, helps me get back to that place of nostalgia and a culture that I adore.

This time around I’m revisiting places I haven’t been to since I was a kid and seeing them in a whole new light, through my husband’s lens.

CREDIT: Courtesy of Araceli Cruz

I’m also discovering new beaches and towns that I never even know existed. It’s quite thrilling to experience memories as an adult and even more bizarre to share them with someone who is completely new to all of it.

The trips back are becoming a yearly occurrence again and this Christmas will be our third consecutive trip. For me, visiting my home country at the holidays is always so special.

Aaron knows a lot about my Mexican traditions like celebrating Day of the Dead and doing a bunch of crazy rituals on New Year’s Eve. He’s the tallest person at our family gatherings, so he was once asked to hold the piñata for all my nieces and nephews to hit. But that was in L.A. Celebrating Christmas in Mexico is going to be way different than anything we could do in the U.S.

There’s nothing quite like Noche Buena — Christmas Eve.

CREDIT: Instagram/@aliciadrc

I’m really looking forward to sharing our Mexican Christmas traditions with him such as drinking champurrado (perhaps spiked with tequila!), singing posadas, breaking piñatas, eating tamales and buñuelos, dancing all night and of course honoring el Niño Jesús.

Although I’m very proud my Mexican culture, I’ve also learned to incorporate Aaron’s traditions into my life as well.

He’s of German descent, born in eastern Iowa and raised in St. Louis. Suffice to say, our cultures aren’t the same. Aaron and I, have lived in North Carolina, and now we’re in Savannah, Georgia. So we’ve added some delightful Southern culinary traditions into our celebrations. For example, this past Thanksgiving we smoked our turkey. Sounds insane, right? But I’m here to tell you that Oprah did it too, so I don’t feel so weird now. Aaron’s family also has a Thanksgiving tradition of reading from William Bradford’s diary before they start the meal. This year we read Abraham Lincoln’s “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in which he declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. Not what I’m used to, but this cultural sharing has to go both ways or it doesn’t work.

To get us ready for our trip, I’ve created a really incredible playlist full of retro ’80s songs.

You’re invited to listen to it too! Enjoy!


READ: Latinos Are Some Of The Most Festive People And These Traditions Prove It

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Here Is Your Ultimate Papi Holiday Gift Guide For The Man Who Says Little But Means So Much

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Here Is Your Ultimate Papi Holiday Gift Guide For The Man Who Says Little But Means So Much

mitú

Dads are always there to pick you up when you are down and love to treat their babies to nice things when he can they deserve it. Christmas is right around the corner so you need to start figuring out what gifts papi is going to be receiving from you this year. Don’t sweat. We have you covered with some of the greatest papi gifts on the internet. Behold, your ultimate papi gift guide.

Tejano Super Star Distressed Tee | $31

CREDIT: DreamHeauxApparel / Etsy

Guys, you must check out this Etsy shop. She’ll adjust gender pronouns to be neutral at no additional cost, and we already know that your Papi deserves this shirt as much as this shop owner deserves your money.

Matching Piyamas con el perro | $25

CREDIT: @petitpennyBG / Instagram

That’s right. FabDog.com sells matching flannel piyamas to match with the Puppy-Obsessed Papi. Since you moved out, your Papi has eyes for nadie but “muñeco lindo precioso Taquito.” K, noted.

Headspace Meditation App Subscription

CREDIT: @headspace / Instagram

For the Retired Papi, a month long ($12.99) or year long ($95.88) subscription to this app that guides meditations using very cute animated creatures might be the thoughtful gift he needs. Warn him to do this before his morning cafecito. ; )

PREGÚNTALE A TU MAMÁ Tee | $24.99

CREDIT: we are mitú

Literally every dad in every Latino family needs this shirt, and we are mitú provides. No doubt your Papi will wear this and you’ll get a laugh out of everyone in the familia.

Philips Norelco Beard Trimmer with Vacuum | $49.95

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Amazon. 13 November 2018.

Meant to vacuum up 90 percent of the beard trimmings, this is a dual gift for your Mami y Papi. But really, it’s for your Papi, because now he doesn’t have to deal with as much flack from la Madre.

“This body was built on…” Tee | $24.50

CREDIT: we are mitú

Again, a total nod a su mami for her excellent cooking, and we’ve got a variety of options, depending on your flavor of Latinidad. Puede hacer de empanadas & arepas, pupusas & curtido, cafecito & chisme, and so, so much more.

Beer Cap States | $35

CREDIT: “Beer Cap States.” Digital Image. UncommonGoods. 13 November 2018.

Ok, Mami is going to hate this taking up any space on her wall, but your craft beer obsessed Papi is going to flip. It comes in all 50 states, so get ‘em before they’re gone.

Baseball Whiskey Chillers Set of 2 | $24.50

CREDIT: “Baseball Whiskey Chillers Set of 2” Digital Image. UncommonGoods. 13 November 2018.

Papi’s got an affinity for baseball and scotch, but you don’t have the dinero for his favorite bottle? For $24.50, these will make him remember to be grateful por su hijo year round.

Scotch-Infused Toothpicks Gift Set | $35

CREDIT: “Scotch-Infused Toothpicks Gift Set.” Digital Image. UncommonGoods. 13 November 2018.

Does Papi always have a toothpick in his mouth? Elevate his experience with sustainably forested wood toothpicks that are infused with “barrel-aged, Islay single malt made by a 200-year-old distillery for a distinctively smoky flavor with notes of peat and complex caramel.”

Personalized Cigar Humidor | $47.99

CREDIT: RCPersonalizedGifts / Etsy

When your Papi only smokes Cuban cigars and is still used to slipping the cigar labels off and being hella secretive, you get him a regal space to store his now legal vice. Get it engraved however you like.

Home Plate Doormat | $30

CREDIT: “Home Plate Doormat.” Digital Image. UncommonGoods. 13 November 2018.

This is something your mom might be able to get behind, and your dad is going to laugh when he opens it. If you live far from home, the sentimental value of claiming la casa as home base might even bring tears to the extra sentimental Papi.

Ticket Stub Diary | $14

CREDIT: “Ticket Stub Diary.” Digital Image. UncommonGoods. 13 November 2018.

Papi doesn’t miss a Dodger’s game, and he never lets you forget it. Let him know that he can stop reminding you and start saving all his billetas here.

FUCK IT ALL Tee | $20

CREDIT: DreamHeauxApparel / Etsy

Profits from selling this tee raised over $700 for family reunification. Today, you can support the shop that keeps on giving for the political Papi.

“EL QUE VA A AYUDAR” Tee | $24.99

CREDIT: we are mitú

Buy this for your dad and he will never be able to be lazy again. Whenever he is wearing the shirt she will be able to ask him to do anything and his shirt will require him to do it.

GUACARDO NERD SWEATER | $39.99

CREDIT: we are mitú

For the Nerdy Papi who is also a walking guacamole vending machine. Make sure everyone else knows his familia thinks he’s the biggest nerd in the house. ;P

Personalized Custom Double 6 Domino Set Pro Size Dominoes | $55

CREDIT: DominoMarket / Etsy

End the decade long feud between su tio y papi by gifting him a set of dominoes with his name on every single piece. Nobody can get away with stealing one of his ever again. This is the price of paz.

EL JEFE HAT | $29.99

CREDIT: we are mitú

Let Papi know that he’s the boss with this El Jefe snapback and do no wrong for at least 1-2 semanas. If you’re rolling deep, this pairs well with that domino set. 😉

EL JEFE MUG | $14.99

CREDIT: we are mitú

If the hat isn’t enough, get dad one of these El Jefe mugs. That way he can remember that he will always be el jefe no matter where he goes or what he’s drinking.

LUCHADOR STANCE Vinyl Cut Sticker | $6

CREDIT: QuintyModa / Etsy

Support a Tejana entrepreneur on Etsy by outfitting your dad’s boring laptop with something that represents his poderoso spirit. Maybe just slap it on there and yell “Surprise!” And see what happens.

Nah’sa Vinyl Sticker | $2.50

CREDIT: DreamHeauxApparel / Etsy

This is more of a freebie to slide into his holiday card. You already know if your dad is going to appreciate this if he doesn’t acknowledge Texas as a U.S. State. #MexicoFirst


READ: 21 Adorable Gifts You Should Buy For The ‘Coco’ Fan In Your Life

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