Tamales are one of those foods I never ate growing up. I never even knew what a tamale was until I moved to Texas in the late eighties. Boy was I missing out.

Growing up it seemed we always had either turkey again for Christmas dinner. If not that then we would have ham. Those really were our only two options. So when I moved here and tried my first tamale, I was in love.

Imagine my surprise when I was looking for something to make my family for Christmas dinner I saw a lot of families serve tamales as their Christmas meal. I must have been living under a rock because this was never a thing I heard of.

Where Did the Tradition of Tamales Come From?

Like I said I have never heard of this tradition. I am a big fan now. Where did it come from? So I had to do some research.

During the holiday season in December, Texas families of Hispanic heritage often celebrate by gathering to make tamales. Making tamales for the Christmas holidays is a tradition that has been passed down for decades by Texans.
OK, I get that, family time. Christmas is all about family so that makes sense. There has to be something more to this:
Corn was a very important crop in Mesoamerica, with people believing that people were created from corn. Tamales, because they were wrapped in corn husks, became part of ritual offerings.  As a nod to those times, people prepare tamales for special occasions including baptisms, weddings, Dia Del Los Muertos, and, of course, Christmas.

Since So Many Families Make Tamales They Must Be Easy to Make

I found that this is farthest from the truth. I thought I would creative and take a weekend and learn to make them. I never got past the "looking for recipes" stage. I was worn out from just the hunt.

So many steps. So much work. So when I do see friends of mine posting about making and selling tamales, that is something I go ahead and buy up many dozens at a time. I appreciate people who can make tamales. I really do.

I am looking forward to having tamales this Christmas and know that I live in the right state for this to be a thing. A delicious thing.

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