Thursday, December 4, 2008

I am Enjoying Summer in December!

I'm enjoying it so much in fact that I think I'm going to stay in the Southern Hemisphere for a while longer (at least for today)! So it's over the mountains into Chile!

Christmas in Chile is a combination of our traditional customs and some that we saw in our other Latin American countries. The Nativity is present under the Christmas tree and Masses begin on the 16th and culminate with a midnight mass on Christmas Eve. There is a little twist though in that the children open their gifts on Christmas Eve instead of on Christmas Day.

Are any of you from Chile or familiar with the Christmas customs? Because I got a little confused here. Viejito Pascuero (Old Man Christmas) aka Papa Noel (Father Christmas) aka Santa still comes to bring the presents either via the chimney or through the window. So if he comes at night and brings the presents then either he is coming the night of the 23rd and the children have to wait ALL DAY on Christmas Eve or he comes while everyone is at Mass. For the sake of those poor Chilean children I hope he comes during Mass! Can you imagine looking at your presents ALL DAY and you weren't able to open them until after church - at midnight!!

Christmas Day is dedicated to playing with all those new toys and apparently the popular gifts are bikes and roller skates (again?!). Then there is a large family meal with azuela de ave (chicken soup with potatoes, onions and corn on the cob) , pan de pascua (Chilean fruit cake) and cola de mono - Monkey's Tail (coffee with milk, liquor, cinnamon and sugar). Something tells me after a meal like that you could be acting like a Monkey's Tail!

Both in Brazil and in Chile it is not uncommon to spend Christmas on the beach. I know some folks dream of a white Christmas but I can't say I would be terribly distressed if every once in a while I could have sand in my shorts on Christmas.

Oh cabana boy! I'll have a pan de pascua and a cola de mono - hold the pan!



jennifer said...

Yeah, a white sandy beach is more my style of a White Christmas...