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Locomotive Holiday Traditions

By Derick Fox, 12/23/20, 2:00PM MST

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A Look at How Chapa and Bryam Spend the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Hearts will be glowing, loved ones are (safely) near or far, and everyone telling you to be of good cheer. The holiday season is filled with some of our favorite traditions. Spending quality time with families, giving and receiving gifts, dinners around the table, 'tis the season that truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

While this year is a little different – thanks to a near world stopping pandemic – the spirit of the holiday season is a hard one to snuff out. Despite 2020 being 2020, El Paso homegrown Chapa Herrera and Colombia native Bryam Rebellon haven’t let their holiday spirits drop and are looking forward to some rest and relaxation with their families and end the roller coaster of a year on a high note.

For both, the holidays are usually filled with travel, to see families, have Christmas dinners, and feast in festivities. Chapa would spend his Christmas visiting his mom, brothers, and sisters before going to visit his wife’s family. However, Chapa, his wife, and his son had already decided to do something different in 2020.

“It’s weird because we had plans already for this year for us to spend Christmas together, just me, my wife and son,” shared the 24-year-old midfielder. “Now that the pandemic is going on, we really have to stay here. Being here alone with my family, I’m okay and really grateful for that. It’s going to be a good day for us.”

Visiting two different families for Christmas, Chapa typically gets to partake in various holiday traditions. His side of the family can’t wait to get to the gift-giving, opening their gifts as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve, signaling that Christmas Day has arrived. His wife’s side however will wait until around noon on Christmas Day before they start to exchange presents around the tree. Since the Herrera family is looking to shake things up this holiday season, the three are looking forward to starting new traditions.

“On Christmas Eve, we’ll just have us three, playing some games,” Chapa explained. “Then we’ll go to bed, put out the gifts and in the morning, I’ll wake up my son. I know he will be really happy.”

While Chapa’s Christmas keeps him in El Paso, Bryam would typically travel to Colombia, where him and his family gathered to share food and more.

“In Colombia, we always have Christmas dinner with the entire family,” started Bryam. “30-40 people having dinner at one house, sharing our thoughts on the year and how it went, as well as personal goals. It’s a big dinner with the whole family.”

The 28-year-old midfielder noted that he wouldn’t be able to go to Colombia this year, as there are a lot of travel restrictions and quarantine orders in place to combat the global pandemic, but he will still be able to see his family over Zoom. Just as Chapa and his family are shaking things up in 2020, Bryam admitted he too will be doing something new for this year’s holiday celebrations.

“This is going to be the first time I’m spending Christmas with my wife’s family,” Bryam said. “I’m excited to spend Christmas with my wife’s family, it will be a new experience. I like them a lot and her parents love me, I’m going to have a lot of food, so I’m happy. I love her, I love her family, obviously it’s not going to be like going back to Colombia, but I’m happy and I’m looking forward to it.”

While this year has forced many of us to do different things and abandon normal traditions to stay safe for the holiday season, Chapa and Bryam both agreed that their favorite part of the holidays anyway is having the chance to spend quality time with their closest loved ones, cherishing the warm moments while the air turns cold outside. Though with a laugh, Chapa did add “I also like receiving gifts!”

From everyone here at El Paso Locomotive FC, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and wonderful new year!

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