This past weekend my girlfriend and I spent time down in San Diego with two of my dearest friends from Chicago. I have known them since 2nd grade – over 50 years – and although we don’t talk much over the phone throughout the year, when we do get together it seems like we’ve never been out of touch. Old friends are like a pair of your favorite old jeans – they’re comfortable and they never go out of style – and even if they do go out of style, you don’t care and you keep them forever.
We shared good times, good meals, and good wine while we were in San Diego. We remembered the times growing up and we talked as well about our children and how proud we are of seeing them grow up into fine young adults. San Diego was all dressed up for the holidays and looked beautiful. The Hotel Del Coronado was magnificent in all its lights and decorations. Old Town San Diego looked resplendent in the colors of the season. Beautiful poinsettias and Christmas wreaths adorning the area. The Hotel La Valencia in La Jolla was the perfect spot for a cocktail as you overlooked the Pacific Ocean while sitting in the old gracious lounge just past the lobby.
All of this helped Karen and I get into the Christmas spirit but what really delivered the message of the season to us was the time we spent with my friends. We didn’t exchange a single gift over the weekend except for maybe gifts from the heart. We shared great meals, conversation, and wine. I really can’t think of a better way to celebrate this holiday season. I look forward to making a big pot of menudo or pozole for my family and then sitting down to enjoy the fruits of my efforts. I look forward to popping open a nice bottle of wine and sharing it with old friends and new friends. I look forward to sitting down and eating as many tamales as possible, maybe not with wine but with a hot cup of coffee or as we call it – cafecito.
My hope for all of you is that you can find the time to sit down and enjoy the company of your friends and family. That you find the time to share a meal. That you find the time to enjoy a bottle of wine – maybe that wine you’ve been holding for years – you know it’s not wine unless you drink it, so drink it with your friends and family. Gifts from the heart can be as simple as a meal, a bottle of wine, and a heartfelt conversation but they can be the best gifts you will ever give or receive. I wish you all a Merry Christmas!