This year, for 2016 we decided to put a call out for your Downtown El Paso Holiday stories and mistletoe photos. We love being reminded about what makes our downtown so special and inject a little heart via the mistletoe while we’re at it. It’s fast becoming a tradition and the submissions prove it.
Thanks to Visit El Paso, Mac’s Place, Imperio Real Boutique and Krystal Jeans, we were able to provide great giveaways to our winners!
In addition, our annual Mistletoe Kiss Ceremony with featured guests Congressman Beto O’Rourke and wife Amy O’Rourke was even better this year. We also stepped it up with great holiday songs sung intimately by Elia Esparza and Marc Ramos. Chico the Chihuahua, Amigoman, and The Grinch joined us in the festivities, as well. Check out the gallery of photos!
Below are some of the story submissions by our giveaway winners and some of the mistletoe photo submissions to warm your heart now that it’s officially winter!
“My abuelita and I lived in the Chihuahuita neighborhood all throughout my childhood. Once a month, when she would get her social security check, we’d venture out and walk through El Centro and window shop as we headed towards the big, beautiful post office to pay bills. I remember those outings were my favorite; my abuelita would buy me random $1, $5 toys that would be considered sub-par for most modern kids, but I absolutely ADORED my little toys. On the way to the post office, we’d usually eat at Church’s Chicken (which still stands today) and back in those days, they used to have promotional toys, just like McDonald’s does with their happy meals.
After we were done paying bills and walking through El Centro, we’d walk over to San Jacinto Plaza. Back then, this is where all the Sun Metro buses would converge for their next routes. While we waited, we fed the pigeons and conversed with random folks until our bus back to Chihuahuita showed up.”
– Crysti Couture
“This past weekend my husband and I went on a double date with his best friend and that person’s new girlfriend to see the lighting of the tree. At first I wasn’t fond of going downtown where many people would be and where I would be forced to stay outside, but being this couple really made me enjoy my night.
See, my husband’s best friend has had a rough year. Early in the year his wife left him for someone else, he had a hard time financially causing a lot of stress. Then during the fall his uncle and cousin was killed by a drunk driver. Even though he had every right to throw a pity party, he kept fighting to better himself and to continue to enjoy life regardless of what life may throw at him.
To see him happy with his high school sweetheart again made me just forget of how cold and uncomfortable I was outside. I couldn’t help, but be happy because he was genuinely happy. It was great to see his new girlfriend treat him with a kind heart and for him to feel love/ kindness that is not forced, but real.”
– Michelle Rivera
“My Downtown El Paso Holiday memory is when my parents or grandpa would take me to San Jacinto to see the Christmas displays in the late 70s early 80s. There used to be, what I called, tunnels you could walk through with Santa’s workshop. I was about four or five so the memory is fuzzy, but I thought the elves looked like the seven dwarves. So I’d say the dwarves were elves during Christmas.”
– Yvette Jones
“I’d like to tell you about this one time I went downtown with my Mom and my little brothers. My Dad has always been a truck driver so we see him four days out of every other month. We had one Christmas where he wasn’t going to be there and before we could get sad my Mom took us downtown to see the lights. We had hot chocolate and I remember there being so many people and nothing mattered because we were there together and my Dad was there through us.
No matter what and I can say every holiday memory with her is amazing but the one of us together downtown is priceless. It’s mine. No matter what I continue to live through her and her happiness. I’ve dealt with my own things my whole life and I live with the pain but I would love to bring the Christmas idea back into my family. My brothers and Dad aren’t into it and maybe winning this can bring us together even more. She passed when I was 17, I’m 20 now and I have seen El Paso grow so much I wish she could see it.”
– Guillermo Casimiro
“I am now 30 years old but when I was about five I remember that we used to live in Juarez and my Mom used to bring my two brothers and myself to San Jacinto Plaza every Christmas season. For us it was very special because we waited all year to see the lights and take pictures with every decoration. One time I was so excited with the lights that I could not keep my eyes away. As a result I hit myself on a parking meter and it was so funny that I didn’t even cry because the lights were more important. To this day I still have a mark on my forehead.”
– Mayra Ortega
“I’m a girl from Slovenia, who happened to meet this guy from El Paso, TX in Trieste, Italy. We talked for a while and in a week we set my trip to fabulous U.S. for the first time this summer. Now look at me, I am here again, this time in the winter season. I fell in love with El Paso last summer, but this magical December, I’m at a loss for words! I saw growth in this city and I must say I am so proud that I can be part of it! I’m stunned by how connected this city is!”
– Barbara Strajnar