A Family Tradition

By

“Maybe it’s the glow from the new miniature lamppost from the Caroler collection my brother ordered that literally cast my mother’s dolls in a new light or the realization that they’ve been with our family for so long, but I’m regarding the arrangement on the bay window sill of my parents’ house—their own and no longer in Germantown—with less skepticism this year. Looking at the Carolers’ open mouths, I try imagining beautiful ballad rather than pain or ugliness spilling from them.”

Titi Nguyen has a beautiful essay at the Paris Review about being the only Vietnamese family in the neighborhood, the importance of the family Christmas tree, and the new light in which she views her mother’s Caroler dolls.


Ashley Perez lives, writes, and causes trouble in Los Angeles. She has a strong affinity for tattoos, otters, cat mystery books, and actual cats, but has mixed feelings about pants. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She runs the literary site Arts Collide and does work of all varieties for Women Who Submit, Entropy, Jaded Ibis Press, and Why There Are Words. You can find her on Twitter at @ArtsCollide. More from this author →