In 1997, my mother, Ruby, painted an elaborate book with pages that were about 3 feet tall, called “The Holiday Dragon.” It was filled with original artwork for my cousins Gabriella, Samantha, and Monique. This is the story of how it came together. There’s a video of it too!
According to my Aunt Vicenta, “We saw this commercial on TV where you could order a book for your kids and they would include the child’s name and the whole storyline would be based on your own kids and Ruby said, ‘I can do that.’ Of course she could, so I said, ‘Okay…’ and so she made this big, beautiful book instead of the little book that I was going to order on TV.”
Here is what my cousin Monique had to say about the book while also sharing some memories about my mom: “Whenever I think of her, I think of this cute little island girl, always doing something artistic, always doing little skits. We were cleaning recently and my mom said she had the book with all the photos and we were like, ‘No way’” so we all kind of just stopped cleaning, pulled it out and were just laughing going through it all. It's such a funny idea.
The story is that there is this huge dragon that comes to your house talking about all these different holidays. It was a cute way to write down traditions that we had at the time. It’s very personal and kind of like a family history in a way. I’ve read the book and there's stuff in there that I don’t even remember from when I was a kid. I mean, I was only a couple years old when we got it. At the time, it was like twice the size of me, but as I got older I understood it more and more and always loved it. The artwork is crazy and there are so many cutout pictures of our family. It's so creative and so sweet and that’s how Aunt Ruby was. I remember getting postcards and letters from her too. She could really express how she was feeling through her artwork. Whenever I was around her, I’d just want to laugh. Because she was so easy going, she made me feel the same way. She was so comforting to be around, and was very humorous and smart too. So quick with her jokes. Very witty, and just loving...All the time.”