My first family holiday was The First Family Holiday. All the members from my mother’s side finally were sponsored to the United States. The Eldest Uncle came with his whole family all the way from Texas, both my maternal grandmother and my brother were still alive, and my fifth aunt had yet to marry the nice Frenchman and move to Paris. All in all, it was a celebration of mass proportions. All twenty-two members were around the decorated Christmas tree in my parent’s one-bedroom apartment on Park Avenue in Alhambra.
I looked like a brat in that picture. Sitting in the front, on the floor to the right in the picture, I had my legs spread-eagled. There was a smuggish smile on my face. I think I was full of myself… more so then than now, I’d dare say. I don’t think I got any especially exciting presents. No one did. Everyone was barely starting out on the American Dream. The celebration was one of family. Money comes to some of its members 18 years later.