Hey John,” I asked over the cell phone from Costco. “I just dropped off our family picture and am picking out our Christmas cards.”
I contemplated choosing a waving American Flag in support of Nathan who was in the Marines at the time.
“Pick out something with the true meaning of Christmas,” John said.
I poured over all the choices and settled on a silhouette of the three wise men on camels with “Wise men still seek him” scripted below the graphic.
“Perfect!” I checked the box, then added the words “From the Seither Family” in the text box. Since they were such a great deal I ordered extra cards.
This was one thing checked off my long “to-do” holiday list.
A week and a half later I picked up our card along with a cart of groceries including ingredients for fudge and holiday cookie baking.
When I got home I unloaded the car and once inside opened the sealed box.
I looked at the picture of our six kids at a beach house we had stayed at after Nathan graduated from boot camp. I loved that picture and was enraptured by their smiling sun kissed faces when Mark asked, “Why are our Christmas cards in Spanish?”
“What !?” I hadn’t even noticed the text because of being all goo-goo over the picture. Mark was right! It didn’t say “Wise men still seek him”. There on the side of the card with the same graphic I had picked out were the words “Feliz Navidad!”
“What we they thinking!” I said looking at our large stack of Feliz Navidad cards. “We don’t speak Spanish or even live in east L.A !”
I almost cried. Here I had thought I had crossed something off my list, now I was back where I started.
The older kids were laughing so hard they could hardly stand.
I was still in shock. I frantically searched for the receipt, which had the proof that someone had made a HUGE mistake. I looked over the thin piece of paper. “Ahh Hahh!” Found it! My smiled faded into a Scroogey grin. I had checked the Spanish option box.
“Well I guess we could have tamales instead of ham.” I tried to be optimistic. Then began the task of addressing our Feliz Navidad cards to friends and family.
This year we decided to do just that. We have scratched the traditional ham off the menu and my mom, sister, Amy and I took a tamale class at Newcastle Produce. We will be steaming our fresh chicken tamales in time for Christmas dinner. Yum!
It doesn’t matter how you say it, Feliz Navidad , which means Happy Nativity, or Merry Christmas, this time of year is about one very special event that celebrates the First Noel` the birth of a baby.
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
May the Peace and Joy of Christmas fill your heart and home this holiday season.
Chelsea’s Famous Tamale Recipe–
Soak corn husks for several hours or overnight.
Green Chicken Filling
- 2 lbs shredded chicken breast
- 4 minced cloves of garlic
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
- 1 can of chopped green chilies
- 16 oz, jar of green sauce
- 3 large diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 yellow onion dices
- 1 tsp. oragano
- 1 tsp. basil
- salt and pepper to taste.
Mix ingredients and let sit for a few hours.
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
Beat until fluffy- then add
- 4 cups masa
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 2 teasp. salt
mix until blended. Pour broth into masa mix a little at a time – if dough is perfect a small marble size of dough will float in a cup of water. If it sinks, add more broth.
- 4 cups chicken broth
Assemble and Finish
- Take a corn husk out of water and lay it on a towel.
- Spoon a small amount of masa in the middle of the corn husk and spread with a knife or flat spatula.
- Spoon a small amount of filling in the middle.
- Carefully roll up husks so that masa completely surrounds the filling and the tamale stays intact.
- Tie the ends with a small strip of corn husk.
- Steam in a vegetable steamer for 35- 40 minutes( you may need to add water)
Serve with green sauce if desired. This recipe can also be doubled and frozen.