The Holiday season is my favorite time of year. Every year, for as long as I remember, my family and I have a party on Christmas Eve - Noche Buena. We chow down on arroz con gandules, macaroni salad, pernil, rotisserie chicken, coquito... and as full as we are, we dance it off!
I'm not the only one that celebrates on Noche Buena - check out what the Darby's do for Noche Buena over at My Big Fat Cuban Family (they've inspired me to send out invites for next year!)
Amidst all the dancing, laughing and poking fun at eachother we gather around the tree and at midnight we open the presents!
As a child there would be a Santa in the mix. My mom would bring the costume, and my Tia would put it on in the bathroom and come out yelling, "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas!" We would take turns sitting on her lap and she would hand out the presents.
The last year I remember Santa making an appearance, my mom forgot the pants part of the costume. My Tia just wore the Santa jacket like a t-shirt dress, put on her boots and started laughing when she came out with the beard falling off her face! She said, "Look, I'm Santa, ok? I just don't have pants, so don't sit on my lap" LOL! There was no room for illusion - we knew it was actually my Tia. And we loved it.
As the years went by, there were no more Santa's. The party has gotten smaller, but we still gather on Noche Buena with friends and family giving gifts to each other after we yell Merry Christmas at midnight. Then we're up for another hour laughing and talking, until we all tucker out, kiss everyone good bye, and call it a night.
This year will be a sad one without my grandpa, but as we all gather together I know that our love for each other will help us enjoy the night despite our sadness.
How do you celebrate the Holiday season? How do you celebrate the memories of all the ups and downs of the year as it comes to an end? Whatever you do, I hope you, my deep thinkers, have an amazing Holiday.
Wishing you all love, happiness, and prosperity.