I embrace authentic Mexican celebrations. There are only a few times a year that we celebrate "the way they do back home." Authentic celebrations, the way they do them back home, usually involve a whole lot of work. Homemade tamales and carne asada are okay for certain celebrations, but the big celebrations involve killing an animal. If the men don't get to kill it themselves, it really isn't "the way they do it back home."
We haven't done Christmas Mexican style since 2006, the Christmas that inspired my short story. This year I stuck to a lamb from the grocery store for Christmas, but the brothers-in-law wanted to do an authentic New Year's Eve celebration.
Thankfully, I wasn't as involved in the New Year's mole as I was in the 2006 Christmas lamb. Mole is a special salsa made from several chiles, spices, and chocolate, among other things. (To my gringa eyes, they use everything but the kitchen sink.) This salsa is then used to smother chicken or turkey (hence the animals that were slaughtered).
Over the last few years, I have gotten tougher than I used to be. I didn't flinch when my brother-in-law slit that lamb's throat. I didn't run and squeal when my brother-in-law chased me around the kitchen with the skinned lamb's head. I surpressed my gag reflex when Tiger threw up on me in the car as I drove him home from the vet's office after his "surgery." I didn't flinch as the guys killed the chickens and the turkey for New Year's Eve.
But I after watching the senora wallow the dead animal carcasses all over the kitchen sink, I decided that was one traditional dish I would not be partaking of.