TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The holidays look very different for families around Tucson. Like many families, Yocasta Moreno's family took health officials' advice to stay home and hold off on large gatherings.
Normally, this Morales would ring in the holidays with a large family gathering with lots of food preparation ahead of time.
“Unfortunately had a lot of friends and family fight against [COVID-19]. We had some that unfortunately lost their battle to it. So, this year we said we're not risking anybody where it's just not worth it you know if we're all home,” said Moreno.
It wasn’t just the family gatherings put on hold, it was tradition.
“We all get together and it's like a party in the kitchen. One's preparing the chile. One's preparing the masa. One's handling the menudo. Then at the end of the day, we all sit around the table and we're all just assembling tamales, and we're waiting for the menudo to be ready so we can eat after all our hard work," she said.
Moreno instead prepared the tamales alone knowing she'd be protecting her love ones health.
“It felt empty it was just kind of like, 'who's going to eat all of these?' because we're used to preparing so much and this year nobody's hear to help. We're not in the kitchen talking and hanging out," she explained.
Looking ahead to next year, she and her family will feel that much more grateful to have each other around.
“If we're able and it's safe to gather again I think we're gonna have lots of fun and make up for a lot of last time this year," she said.