I can remember only one time that we had homemade tamales at Christmas. My mom and a couple of her friends got together and made green corn and red chile tamales. They made them once, but complained for years. The tamales took days to make, but minutes for our family to scarf them down.
A couple of years ago, I started a tradition of making tamales for New Year’s Eve. A few of us got together and worked in an assembly line so it wasn’t too bad.But this year, I’m tired of cooking and cleaning and while I’m currently on the mend, I’ve been sick all week. The last thing I want to do is make tamales and clean up the mess. Now I understand what my mom was talking about. She worked and had 4 kids. Making tamales was a time commitment and she had so little time to spare.
It’s not a tradition if I don’t do it every year. So on Friday, I will soak the corn husks in water and Saturday I’ll make the masa and wait for friends to come over. We’ll spend the afternoon assembling the masa, green chiles, and cheese. We’ll drink coffee and chat. And hopefully next year, in spite of busy schedules and holiday malaise, we’ll do it again.