Merry Christmas

Today will be my first Christmas Day in Baytown without a parent. Hey, I made it this long. Some folks aren’t as fortunate. One thing about my parents, Alicia, and Tony, err, Mom and Dad, they went to great lengths to make sure their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids had wonderful Christmas Days. Love, gifts, delicious grub, and plenty of Christmas tunes. Commentary is into Christmas tunes during the Christmas season because my Mom and Dad would buy Christmas tunes albums like Eydie Gorme’s “Blanca Navidad” and the Lennon Sister’s “Christmas With The Lennon Sisters.” My Mom’s Christmas tree easily rivaled those decorated at The White House or those at high end retail stores. My Mom also displayed over a dozen nativity scenes in the living room.

In Baytown today will be my sister Sylvia and her kids David, Cristina and her hubby Alex, and Enrique. My niece Rachel will be over with her hubby Andy, and the kids Dante, Lucas, and Ace. Maybe other folks will drop by.

It will be good to be with family and I am pretty sure that Mom and Dad and their Christmas traditions will be part of our Christmas Day conversations.


Here is the obituary for my Tía Julia:

On December 19, 2023, Julia Campos passed away at the age of 92. She drifted into Our Lord’s hands at her home in the company of family and friends. Julia was born on February 16, 1931, in Columbus, Texas, to Ascensión and Victoria (Estrada) Yepez. She spent her early years in both Texas and Coahuila, Mexico, until her final move to Baytown, Texas, in 1943 at the tender age of 12.

She married Manuel “Mito” Campos in 1950 and had a successful career as a restaurant manager while raising eight children. She was a devoted Catholic and participated in several religious organizations. She was a dedicated citizen with strong political beliefs, the values of which were evidenced by her years as a volunteer at polling stations and political campaign supporter. She was an incredible cook and prided herself in making all of her authentic Mexican dishes from scratch. She was famous for her delicious tamales and her rich, but highly complicated, Frontera-style mole. She enjoyed reading, studying her bible, crocheting, sewing, and sitting for hours on her front porch swing. She relished family gatherings, especially Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. She loved travel, taking care of plants, growing fruit trees and discussing agriculture.

Julia was preceded in death by her father Ascención Hijinio Yepez; her mother Victoria (Estrada) Yepez; husband Manuel “Mito” Campos; her brother Juan Yepez; her sister Celedonia Razo; her brother Jose Ascención “Chon” Yepez; her brother Pedro “Pico” Yepez; her brother Gregorio “Greg” Yepez; her sister Maria Arcilia “Chila” Perez; and her granddaughter Lara (Campos) Garza.

She is survived by her eight children; son Daniel “Danny” Campos and wife Lynn; daughter Elizabeth Ramos; daughter Martha Ramirez and husband David; son Samuel “Sammy” Campos and wife Rachael; daughter Elsa Campos; son Fidel T. Campos; daughter Rosanna McMahon and husband Jim; and son Robert E. Campos and wife Elisa. She is survived by 14 grandchildren, Tara (Campos) Welch; Oscar Daniel “O.D.” De La Cerda; Eva (De La Cerda) Muñoz, Mistie (De La Cerda) Hernandez, Nicholas Ramirez, Kaitlyn Ramirez, Samantha (Campos) Villalon, Angela (Campos) Edge, Krystal (Campos) Gravett, Cathy (Villarreal) Aguayo, Mark Villarreal, Lauren Nichole Campos, Alyssa Campos and Xavier Campos. She is survived by 25 great-grandchildren, Karen Garza, Logan Garza, Megan Garza, Kelly Welch, Jordan Welch, Daniella De La Cerda, Kaia De La Cerda, James Cano, Anthony Muñoz, Alec Muñoz, Desiree Garcia, Andre Barajas, Parker Ramirez, Audrey Ramirez, Miguel Villalon, Sabas Villalon, Avery Villalon, Halie Edge, Thomas Edge, Isabella Gravett, Brandon Ybarra, Brianna (Ybarra) Nájera, Jacob Ybarra, Dustin Aguayo and Kori Villegas. She is survived by 16 great-great-grandchildren, Layla Aguila, Paislie De La Cruz, Isaac De La Cruz, Xzayden Cano, Aleena Cano, Emilia Muñoz, Elena Muñoz, Eliza Muñoz, Aidan Barajas, Dahliyla Villalon, Miguel Villalon, Sebastian Villalon, Marco Villalon, Aurelio Villalon, Serenity Nájera and Isaac Ybarra.


Joseph Peter Yepez, Ronnie Fuentes, Mark Villarreal, Sabas Villalon, Xavier Campos and Nicholas Ramirez.

Honorary Pallbearers

O.D. De La Cerda, William Yepez, Mario Delgado and James Cano

Visitation will be at Earthman Funeral Home, 3919 Garth Road, Baytown, Texas, on Tuesday, December 26. Public visitation will be held from 5-8pm. A Rosary will be held at 6pm.

Funeral mass will be held at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 800 W. Baker Road, Baytown, Texas on Wednesday, December 27 at 10am. Interment will follow at Memory Gardens Cemetery, 8624 Garth Road, Baytown, Texas at approximately 11:30am.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.


On this Christmas Day, check out this AP story about a very popular Christmas tune:

NEW YORK (AP) — If anything about Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” annoys you, best to avoid shopping malls now. Or the radio. Maybe music altogether, for that matter.

Her 1994 carol dominates holiday music like nothing else.

The Christmas colossus has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart the past four years in a row — measuring the most popular songs each week by airplay, sales and streaming, not just the holiday-themed — and it’s reasonable to assume 2023 will be no different. One expert predicts it will soon exceed $100 million in earnings. Even its ringtone has sold millions.

“That song is just embedded in history now,” says David Foster, the 16-time Grammy-winning composer and producer. “It’s embedded in Christmas. When you think of Christmas right now, you think of that song.”

Carey’s hit is so omnipresent that the Wall Street Journal wrote about retail workers driven batty by how many times it comes on in their stores, including one who retreats to the stockroom every time he hears the distinctive opening bells.

Yet the story behind “All I Want for Christmas is You” is not all holly and mistletoe.

Here is the entire AP story: Why Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ became so popular — and stayed that way | AP News.


The feature photo is of Christmas cards past.  

Merry Christmas and stay safe.

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