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The past 100 years, Dec. 25, 2018

December 25, 2018 GMT

From the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Dec. 25, 1993: For the last 18 years, Debbie Rivera Sena heard every breath her children took as they went to sleep, constipated every winter malady when they’d sniffle on cold mornings and witnessed every bad dream that caused them to toss and turn.

In a two-room house, less than 500 square feet in size, you couldn’t help but notice.

“Essentially, we were sardines in a cracker box,” said Sena, 36, her brown eyes reflecting the sparkle of tree lights beside her. “The sardines grew into trout, and the cracker box stayed the same.”

In the new year, life will be very different for Sena and her three teen-age children — Bernadette, Leo and Monica. A lift and push from a family friend and a loan from a government-initiated program helped the Senas get into a new home for the holidays — a renovation of the old house with additions, bringing it to 1,850 square feet.