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Holiday Traditions with Long Beach Living

Holiday Traditions with Long Beach Living

Kimberly Estrada

The holiday season is here! This is usually a time for celebrations, family gatherings, and delicious food. It allows people to have the opportunity to spend time with their loved ones and appreciate all the beautiful things life has to offer. This season also lets people slow down and break their daily routines to create life-long memories with friends and family. With that, we wanted to highlight the holiday traditions of the LB Living team – each tradition unique to each person and displaying the diversity of the team.


Here’s a little peak at the LB Living team’s holiday traditions: 

1. Sal

Sal has a 20-year tradition where about 15 of his high school friends get together at his parents’ house on Christmas Eve and celebrate Christmas with his family. It’s the one day a year, where the friend group gets together since graduating high school, so they all look forward to it. Through this yearly tradition Sal and his family have introduced Mexican culture to his mostly Asian Buddhist friends by including them in the Christmas celebration. They celebrate the holiday by eating traditional Mexican foods such as tamales, pozole, atole, and ponche.

2. Dan 

Dan celebrates both Thanksgiving and Christmas every year with his family. For Thanksgiving, they eat traditional foods such as turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, candied yams, and rolls. In addition to the traditional foods, Dan’s mom makes creamed pearl onions every year, completing the holiday celebration. For Christmas, Dan and his family get together and cook a Prime Rib dinner. They traditionally celebrate the holiday with about 30 family members all at one table, so the dinner can be expensive. However, serving one cohesive meal is much easier than serving a variety of foods for such a large group. 

Photo courtesy of Dan O’Brien’s family holiday gathering setup.

3. Sienna 

Every year, Sienna gets together with her family to celebrate the holidays. It’s a family tradition for them to make a variety of foods like macaroni salad, mac and cheese, turkey, biscuits, rice, and corn. All the foods are made with Ecuadorian flavors and spices, making them unique to her family.  

4. Tania

Since Tania lives on the west coast now and her family is still on the east coast, she typically celebrates the holidays with her friends. However, being that her family is from Mexico, growing up they always ate tamales, pozole, pavo con mole, and more for Christmas. To this day, these dishes are an essential part of her holiday celebrations and she looks forward to creating her own new traditions every year.

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Photo courtesy of Tania’s Friendsgiving setup from 2019.

5. James 

James doesn’t celebrate the holiday season traditionally because it isn’t part of his Cambodian culture. However, he still makes a nice, simple dinner for his parents and younger brother. James only celebrates Christmas with his friends by gathering, exchanging gifts, and eating delicious food. 

Photo courtesy of James featuring him with his family.

6. Brian 

Every year, Brian gets together with his family on Christmas Eve for a big dinner. Brian makes an Italian meal with a traditional marinara sauce with tuna and serves it with either bucatini or spaghetti. This Italian meal is special to Brian and his family because it became a tradition after his grandparents emigrated from Italy to New York. During this time, Italian food was mocked, and many people didn’t consume it unless it was cheap. Many Italian immigrants like Brian’s grandfather, Natalino, made pasta with tuna instead of beef, lamb or deer for Christmas Eve because it was cheaper. To this day, even after Brian’s grandfather has passed, it’s still a family tradition for them to eat pasta with a tuna sauce.

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