Navidad, Navidad

December 24, 2003

 


Christmas Eve. Here in Venezuela, tonight is the night. Tonight is Christmas; tomorrow is only the day that baby Jesus brings the presents to the kids.  As economic and political problems fade away for a couple of days, that great tradition, getting together with your immediate family is the focus tonight. Of course, for us, “immediate” is also quite different, a very extended definition. Parties are huge, everyone gets together to eat hallacas, a banana leaf wrap containing corn flour with a stew that has chicken, pork, olives, onion and pimentos. (I am sure I am forgetting some ingredients). People play music ranging from the local gaitas to world famous Christmas carols. People dance, set fire works and laugh. Despite emigration 90% of my siblings are here in Caracas (nine out of ten) today, a good average I think. We will go to my sisterís, give presents, laugh, dance, eat, drink and sleep over so that we can see the kids opening their presents in the morning. Tomorrow, I will once again realize that I am getting old to go to bed so late and wake up so early. I will likely spend all day reading and sleeping, feeling good about Christmas. Friday, back to work even if briefly. To everyone, have a wonderful Christmas Eve and Day! and thanks for the many emails wishing me well, I am grateful that so many of you thought of me even if you don’t know me. Here is a picture of Plaza Altamira with Christmas ornaments. Hope it is a sign of things to come.


 


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