Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Eve among friends

It is my pleasure to recount a very nice Christmas eve with friends - actually, neighbors of Zozó and Tonico. Each year Zozó and Tonico (who have no traditional evening with children or extended family) join in the party of their friends across the street - Sra. Conceição and Sr. Sergio.

We were delighted to be among an extended family of about 20 - including two young boys - and another couple invited in for the night.

It was a very sweet evening. Two of the daughters present were English teachers, so I had lots of opportunities to connect.

As is the tradition, a huge buffet was set out to tempt everyone, but was not to be consumed until after midnight. Scrumptious ham, turkey, file mignon, multiple salads, and “stuffing” from the turkey that was farofa with mushrooms, onions, and who knows what – but super tasty!

Dessert included pudim de leite, pavê, rabanada, sweet bread and sorvete. (In English that means YUUUMMMM!!!)

At midnight (as is the tradition) we gathered in the living room to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We stood around the outside of the room while the young boys brought in a statue of the baby Jesus and placed it in a featured “manger” cradle.

One of the men/sons then sang “the First Noel” followed by a reading of scripture by his wife. Then the whole room sang the hymn.

Finally, the elder grandmother spoke her thanks/blessing, followed by her daughter (our host) and concluded by Senior Sergio appreciating all present and insisting on a positive 2009.

Very nice.

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