I’m literally eating cookies and chocolate almond milk as I write this, no pun intended.
I do not partake onto the general Yuletide spirit as an adult, though certainly I was raised around it. Dressing up, wrapping gifts, reading illustrated books and drinking hot chocolate were my favourite part of the season as a kid.
In Puerto Rico traditional Navidad (Christmas) starts on late November and goes hand in hand with the birth of baby Jesus, Misa de Gallo (Chicken Mass? lol) and eating roasted pig as you drink copious amount of alcohol in the form of Coquito (made with rum, coconut milk, sweet condensed milk, egg yolks, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves).
As a proud irreligious individual that doesn’t eat pig or likes coquito I can’t really expand on these subjects. However, we also have the custom of Parrandas. A parranda is a group of people that storm into your house by surprise during the witching hour. They sing and play instruments until you invite them in for food and drink… and so the party begins! I was actually terrified of receiving unwanted visitors claiming for food back then, but I’ve heard arrangements can be made prior to the activity. Here’s a pretty cool parranda video.
Speaking of music, aguinaldos are also popular during this time. This is a form of art inherited from Spain in which music is offered as a gift. It’s a type of carol or folk lament in which a Cuatro (a four string instrument) is used. Check out this curious aguinaldo with Philadelphia as a backdrop.
I was brought up listening to a Symphonic Orchestra Cassette which included all the classic Christmas Carols, I swear that tape would go on non-stop while I was on the road. I watched Home Alone and all the Christmas movies of the era too many times (now I avoid them like the plague). Mother would dress me up like an elf during December (which I loved!) She’d let me wrap gifts, the epitome of developing handmade skills. I also got many electric shocks whenever I helped with the Christmas tree lights (which I hate so much to this day I try to avoid plug-in’ stuff).
As a kid, waking up on December 25 was a pretty fun experience. I’d run around tearing down gift wrapping paper. Knowing my mother was behind the whole Santa Claus thing seemed more accurate in life, but I lived in Plato’s Cave for a while. I would have loved to say thanks to the real person behind “the magic of x-mas” and understanding the value and hard-work behind the whole marathon.
To this day I’m against telling kids the “Santa Claus exists” fairytale. “I want my kid to have that innocence“. Innocence my ass. Lies are lies. And lying to a child is the worst example ever. But that’s another story.
When I could still wear sweaters in Puerto Rico (before the extreme weather changes due to global warming) Navidad would end mid-January after the Three Kings Day and Las Octavitas (8 additional days -originally religious- beginning January 9th). Those 8 days would always come in handy to play my ass off before going back to school.
Now-a-days, my Navidades are a time for eating turrón (Spanish Almond candy), cursing the loud religious and politic propaganda called tumba-cocos (seriously, fuck you!) and collaborating with capitalism. The latter not so much, since the economy here keeps going from bad to worse. But ’tis the season for the best clearance and sale racks!
Here’s a little Gift Rundown:
Yaya and Annie sent these thoughtful spoils for me: A Makeup Monsters Liquid Lipstick in Titan (indigo lipstick for the win!) and a facial treatment by Nude (I cant wait to try it!)
Part of my Black Friday haul: Hair Bone Clips from Hot Topic, a most coveted burning church tshirt by Black Craft Cult (just in time for the Holidays 😉 ) and a Lip Service velvet romper.
I got the Soap & Glory Smoothie Star Body Buttercream as a gift for my mother and the Sugar Crush body Scrub for me. I’m in love with the scrub, I want to lick it (I did tho).
Was it Krampus, Befana, Grýla, Belschnickel or Sandy Claws? Who left you candy (or coal) these holidays? Whether in the company of loved ones, surrounded by co-workers, lost within fallout 4, or during a nice warm bath in solitude; make sure your are enjoying yourself!
Pretty amused how I made it to the end of this post with-out using the phrase “I hate Christmas”. The Grinch is disappointed. ♥