Tag Archives: Christmas

The Red Shawl


Tuesday, November 15…
**PLEASE NOTE: There were no witnesses to the following conversation.**

Him: Is that your shawl?
Me: *blank stare* This red thing on my arm? A SHAWL? No. It’s a sweater. A shawl? REALLY? Do I LOOK like a shawl person?

Wednesday, December 14…
My Secret Santa at work gave me an orange shawl.
And I LOVED it.

Friday, December 16…
I was hunting for jewelry for my Christmas Party Dress.
I saw a bright red shawl.
It occured to me just how perfect it would be for my Party Dress.
I bought it and smiled to myself.

Friday, December 23…
One of my dance friends gave me a Christmas present.
A bright red shawl that looked exactly like the one I had just bought myself the week before.

Sunday, December 25…
My brother gave me a dark red shawl.

It would seem that not only do I LOOK like a shawl person, I AM a shawl person.
It would also seem that a certain Him has a prophetic gift.
(And it is not wise to mock prophets.) 😉

A Christmas Miracle


When I found the black dress for my Christmas party I was super excited.

It was a bit of a departure for me as far as dresses go. Tight and short black dresses typically just exacerbate the genetic betrayal that is my legacy; however, this particular dress looked pretty great. The top was black, but sparkly and I felt like the best way to make it a Christmas dress would be red accessories. I had this mental picture of red glittery shoes and red and gold bangles to match and really pull it all together. Because you can’t wear bright red shoes with a black dress and gold jewelry. Red has to be in the jewelry, too, in order to pull the eyes back up from the shoes.

I had a very clear picture in my head.

I looked for red glitter shoes and kept coming up empty.

So I settled for the gold glitter shoes and thought “Well, I can still do the red and gold bangles and earrings and it’ll keep it Christmas. Then I’ll just take out the red for New Year’s.”

I was fine with that plan. And then the red shoes found me. So I got them.

And that is how the Great Hunt for Red and Gold Bangles started.
Endless hours of walking from store to store only to be disappointed.

I finally found bracelets that were not quite what I had in mind, but they would work.

As I was leaving the mall, a necklace at a store that specializes in silver caught my eye. Now that my red and gold bangle mission was over, I allowed myself to go into the silver store. (Because, why would I go into a silver store when hunting for gold?)

I noticed that the store had branched out. There were many more colourful necklaces in there than I remembered and I was slowly pulled deeper and deeper into the store. (It’s actually not a very deep store, but it was a slow pull.)

And, there, along the back wall, were bangles. Every color of bangle. Red. Gold. Green. Blue. Purple. RED. GOLD.

I cried. (Ok, I didn’t CRY; my eyes filled with tears, but I held them back.)

I know that not having the exact accessories you want is a total “1st World, White Girl” problem, but that is not really the point.

I had a dream. A picture in my head.

I had been content with the gold shoes, but then I got the red ones I’d dreamed about. And I had been content with the red and gold bracelets I had JUST bought thinking that I was never going to find the bracelets I had dreamed about. I was still excited.

But then my dream came true.

It was such a little thing.

A small and simple wish, but it happened. And right about the time I was giving up. Right about the time I was settling for less.

Honestly? It felt like a personal Christmas gift sent directly from God. *blush*

THAT is why I cried.

Because if he is willing to give me my silly wish of red shoes and red and gold bangles, then there’s a good chance he’d be happy to give me some of my “real” wishes, too.

Straight No Chaser


A few years ago (I want to say three, but it was probably more like four or five), my friend Marc Masferrer posted this video on Facebook.


I was instantly in love. Perhaps it had to do with my inner Afro-Cuban (because one look at my ASSets and you’ll be convinced there’s African in me) or the Kenyans I was so completely at home with. Whatever the reason, this song and this group became something very special for me.

And I wished that one day I might get the chance to see them live.

Every year Mami always takes my sister and I to a live show. Usually it’s a musical of some kind. This year, I asked if we could see Straight No Chaser.

Today is the day.

Can I tell you? I’m out of my skin excited.

And one day, I am totally going to celebrate Christmas in Africa (and when I say “Africa,” I mean mean Kenya.)



My mom is an amazing woman. She’s very crafty. (Yes, she CAN get you to do something you didn’t want to do using some clever tricks, but that’s not quite what I meant.)

The year I was born, she made my Christmas stocking. It is a beautiful stocking with incredibly detailed cross-stitch work. It is just one of the many ways she has shown her patience and love. I love my stocking. Every year during Christmas time (now that I’m older) I wonder if, when I have a family of my own, she will give me mine for my own mantel or just make all news ones.

Every one in our family has a unique cross-stitched-by-Mom stocking. And each one of us has our own unique stocking holder.

I love my stocking, but I love my stocking holder MORE. It is a little kitten that looks just Figaro from Disney’s Pinocchio. When I was very little, that was my FAVORITE movie.

It should come as no surprise, then, that my very first kitten was a black and white one.

So, I grew up with the same little kitten holding up my stocking year after year and I loved it.

That’s when the unspeakable happened. I arrived at my mother’s house to find it decorated for Christmas . . . but there was an abomination on the mantel! My darling stocking holder. My kitten. My love. Was GONE.

In it’s place? A big silver snowflake. Cold. Color-less. Lacking personality. SO. NOT. ME.

I may or may not have thrown a slight fit . . .

Mami’s defense was simply that the cat kept falling off the mantel. It couldn’t hold my stocking up anymore. Funny, though, because she seems to have found a way to make it work ever since.

No, I have no idea what happened to the snowflake. It was never seen or heard from again. =D

The Christmas Tree that Couldn’t


I have 3 roommates. One is Buddhist, one is “doesn’t believe in religion” and the other thinks “Christmas decorations are tacky.” Knowing this, I did not expect to have a Christmas tree or any other Christmas decorations in the house.

I have a little tree that Mami gave me a few years ago that I planned on putting in my room, but that’s about it. Imagine my surprise, then, when I asked one of my roommates if we were going to get a Christmas tree (while bouncing around like an excited 5-year-old) and she was excited about the plan as I was. We talked about the logistics of furniture moving to make room for this tree and then the OTHER decorations she had, etc. The we talked about when to get the tree.

Being Cuban, I remember as a kid decorating the tree on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and then it would stay up the 12 days of Christmas until the 3 Kings were supposed to arrive on January 6th (and even then we kept it up a bit longer). Yes, we eventually started putting up the tree before Noche Buena, but never too early. We would wait until AT LEAST December 15th.

That’s great Kiki, your point?

Well, as my roommate and I discussed when we were both available to go get a tree and decorations, it became obvious the only day we could do it was NOVEMBER 30th (!).

So, on NOVEMBER 30th (!) an Asian, a black girl, and a blonde (yes, I’m the blonde here) go out to buy a Christmas tree. (Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right?) The blonde says, “How long could this take?” HA! I was dancing through the store like a happy little kid, pirouettes and everything. I would pick up the ugliest decoration I could find and tell my roommates it was a “MUST HAVE.”

Anyway, after playing and prancing through the store, we found a tree we could all agree on. I had wanted a pre-lit tree. Moments after making our decision, the black girl pointed out a slightly shorter UN-lit tree for half the price. Ok, fine . . . except . . . it was not in stock. We had a cart full of decorations for a tree that was not in stock.

Hungry. Tired. And just wanting to get home, the Asian and I made an executive decision: The black girl would go to customer service and find out if another nearby store had the tree . . . we would buy the decor and put it in the car. As we walked up to the car, there was all kinds of commotion going on. Apparently, an OLD ASIAN in an ELEMENT had been driving down the row where we were parked and hit several parked cars AFTER he had popped his tire on a curb. It had taken 3 good samaritans to stop him and call the police. Yes, he HAD hit my roommate’s car before he was stopped. So we had to wait for the police to show up. First one bike cop pulls up. Then another. Then a cruiser with two more cops inside shows up. (The question “how many cops does it take to stop an old Asian man?” comes to mind . . .)

After about an hour, the police gave my roommate the old man’s insurance information then and had his car towed. We went home. WITHOUT a tree.

Later that night, I went and got the tree we’d wanted from a different store. I went by myself. By the time I got home, I was too tired to work on the tree, so the box sat (yes, we went artificial – I didn’t want to worry about taking care of a tree or about the disposal of a very dead one later and I wanted it to last through January 6th) in the corner we had designated as the tree corner.

It, basically, sat for a week.

Over the course of the week I worked on getting it built. At the end of the week,  it was time for lights.Somehow, I was in charge of that part too . . .

Despite the enlightening romantic entanglement I had with . . . myself . . . I think it came out alright in the end. The day after I finished putting the lights up, I came home to find a finished tree. Of course they waited until the hard stuff was finished, but I don’t mind too much. Just looking at our tree makes me happy.

I ALSO found a decorated table and wall that I can only assume is our “holiday” section. It cracked me up so I decided to just embrace it:

Yes, the bow on the wall says “Happy Kwanzaa” and that is a mini-Christmas tree and the candles on the right side of the menorah are Diwali colors. 😉


I’m Jazzed.


How to properly KIKITIAR your way through a Disneyland Day:

1. Wake up to happy music (perhaps some fun Latin Jazz, otherwise Michael Franti’s “Say Hey” should do the trick).

2. Have breakfast in The Park.

Obviously, once you’ve eaten, the world really will seem like a magical place and you find yourself thinking, “This is my playground!” (If you are not feeling this then you may need to chase down the espresso and cinnamon roll with a Coca-Cola Classic.)

Yes, you are in a giant playground, but running really is not recommended. Take your time. Savor it.
Keep your eyes and ears open. There are few things more exciting than randomly bursting into giggles because of an overhead conversation. (Not running is also a really fabulous idea if your footwear is not conducive to much more than walking.)

No, you don’t have all day. So, what do you do? Holiday Stuff like watching carolers and riding any ride that has been holiday-ed-out and maybe visit a couple of your favorite places . . .

Remember, it’s a day to stroll through the park. So, if you see something happening at Carnation plaza it is likely it will be worth your while to stop by and watch. They just might play your favorite Christmas songs . . . (like THIS one)

Filled with the happiness that comes from being in the happiest place on earth and having just listened to some fun and jazzy Christmas music, it is VITAL to participate in one of the BEST games ever. The game is called “Happy Birthday-ing People.” The object of this game is to find as many people as you can wearing the big button that tells you it’s their birthday. Now, you COULD just say “Happy Birthday” to them, but it is not truly kikitiando unless you include their name (which is on the button).

Smiling and laughing all to yourself, you can kikitiar all the way down Main Street, USA to the giant Christmas tree for the requisite picture.

And that’s how it’s done!