Memories of Many ‘a Christmas Mornings…

wrestling with

Growing up, my family had a fascination with bathrobes.  Since before I could walk, I had a bathrobe.  My dad and two brothers also had bathrobes (though they didn’t always wear them.)

The women in the family still love their robes.  They signify complete and utter laziness coziness.  On many ‘a day,  we have been known to throw our robes on in the morning, stay in them through lunchtime, perhaps through happy hour and heck, throw them off and jump back in bed at night.   We have a name for these special days:

We call them BATA DAYS!

 {Yes, bathrobe in Spanish is bata.}

There is simply nothing better than a Bata Day.

As you can imagine, Christmas mornings were and still are the perfect mornings for wearing your bata. On these special mornings, we would usually still be recovering from a night filled with wonderful Puerto Rican traditions like gorging on greasy pork, rice and beans,  fried pig intestines, fried everything else, flan, a lot of rum and singing and dancing while shaking our maracas, which in turn caused irreparable damage to our ear drums. What?   If that does not scream BATA DAY, I don’t know what does!

Undoubtedly,  besides having food and alcohol hangovers,  some of us were simply  not able to hide our crankiness on Christmas morning.   That would be… my older brother whose middle finger always managed to “photo bomb” our pictures and videos. My dad would have the Spanish music blaring and my mom the mimosa’s chilling as we would sit in the living room in a catatonic state, staring at the presents we would soon open.

Now, as braggy as this may sound, we were known to many as a, “pretty” group of people – my family.  But on Christmas mornings, there was absolutely no sign of prettiness to be found.

My dad’s bata would be partially open exposing his Santa-like belly and tighty-whities.  His surviving strands of hair would stray from their usual position and stick straight up into the air.  My mom’s curly hair combined with the static electricity of the season,  had a life of its own – It too had a hangover. Her bata stains were reminders of the previous day’s grease fest.

I remember us kids suffering from either flat as a board bed hair or hair that had permanently set into our skulls with a different part than our usual.  This resulted in our hair hurting.  We were also blessed with pillow marks etched deeply into our faces that would take days to fade.  Our breaths could light the house on fire and my younger brother always smelled like fried eggs.

Ahhhhh….the memories.  This is NOT what we looked like.

Yet, for some twisted and probably narcissistic reason, we would take out the cameras  and document ourselves in this state, every Christmas.  Not that we showed the pictures to anyone else, in fact I still keep them locked up for safety in my basement.  They are a reminder of how fragile our good looks were/are and how quickly they can disappear into thin air.

If you don’t believe me, take a look at these beauties.  Faces were covered to protect the guilty: As you can see, we had brown batas, white batas, floral batas, pink batas, short batas and long batas.

I have learned a bit since those days and now brush my hair, brush my teeth, cover the pillow marks and wear a nice bata on Christmas mornings.  It is only then that I allow the all familiar *clicks to take place.

My childhood bata traditions must NOT BE REPEATED – EVER. I wish you all a wonderful Christmas filled with no hangovers, grease stains, pork breath or messy hair.  May your day be filled with the warmth and comfort of your batas.

Feliz Navidad!

25 thoughts on “Memories of Many ‘a Christmas Mornings…

  1. Ha! I’m with you on the perfect morning (day) for the bata. And I also hear you on making pretty pictures to remember. I make sure I give myself enough time to shower and then make myself pretty in my bata so I’ll actually want my pictures taken!


  2. Haha I was reading along in amusement but those photos put me over the edge, that is so funny! And it’s very true about the ugly-Christmas-morning phenomenon. Those are pictures you NEVER want the rest of the world to see…
    I haven’t had a “bata” in many a year… I used to love that thing though. I lived in it. It was not sexy. It was unsightly. And wonderful.
    Merry Christmas, you 🙂


    1. I hope my family does not kill me for posting those pics. I was feeling nostalgic and going through them and how could I NOT blog about them!! Hello? Enjoy your time with your family and or boyfriend, Aussa! 🙂


      1. Haha they should appreciate you sharing the wonders of robes with the rest of the world, since they are clearly such believers in their magic! Pretty much nothing is off limits once you have a blog 😉


  3. Feliz Navidad, Maria! Feliz año nuevo!
    I love you bata tradition. I could have been a member of your family, because I love my robe! And I hang out in it a lot. Of course I get stared at in the office . . .


  4. I love your present day bata, Maria! You look beautiful! I love the idea of a bata day. I might have to join you during my Christmas break…bata and a great book…ah. I don’t think my father has ever owned a bathrobe. Merry Christmas Maria! Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the New Year. I hope 2014 brings you comfort. xo


    1. Thanks Jill, the bata is from Japan and was a gift. I feel like I could wear it out it’s so nice. LOL. You go ahead and enjoy a couple of bata days during your break, you have earned it. Enjoy your time with your family and I also wish you a painless couple of weeks. xo


  5. LOL! LOVE the pics of the happy Christmas bata day family. They are so beautifully genuine, but I can also totally see why you comb your hair and put on the pretty bata now. I force my menfolk to at least put on some sweats to cover their tidy whities before we gather around the tree on Christmas morning. I think my favorite Christmas was the year I got the AirSoft pistols from my hubby. The kids and I loaded them up, put on our sunglasses, and started shooting the one big round plastic ornament on the tree. Every year now, I put that plastic ornament full of holes in a prominent place. No one at our annual Christmas party has asked about it yet. 🙂



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