Anyone Else Celebrate & Open Their Gifts On Christmas Eve In EP?
What's your family Christmas tradition - Are you Team Christmas Eve or Team Christmas Morning?
For as long as I can recall, my family has celebrated the birth of Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve with tons of food, music, followed by attending mass, and of course, opening gifts just after midnight.
Okay, so technically, it's already Christmas by the time we open presents, but that's the beauty of our family tradition, which takes place on what we call Noche Buena or Good Night which is all about celebrating the birth of Baby Jesus.
Our family tradition always involves food, lots of holiday food including tamales, Menudo, romeritos, and my ultimate favorite, Bacalao a la Vizcaina, a Spanish-style cod stew, followed by biscochos, and buñuelos for dessert and rompope (Mexican eggnog) to toast.
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Growing up, the adults in our family would spend the day cooking and eating while reminiscing, dancing, and sipping on ponche as the kids played. If you were smart, you'd catch a nap in between because these parties would last until the next day, literally.
Once 11 p.m. rolled around, we'd start getting ready to attend midnight mass (yes, even the tipsy ones), which we call Misa de Gallo, and once that was over, we'd head home to indulge in more food like Menudo, and you guessed it, to open our Christmas presents.
By the next day (Christmas Morning), the youngest member of the family would place the Baby Jesus in the manger symbolizing his arrival into the world.
As a kid, I loved getting to open our gifts early, but as I grew older, I looked more forward to spending time with the fam bam sitting around the kitchen table talking to my Tias and Tios and drinking a few copitas (drinks) with the primos.
Celebrating Noche Buena may not be for everyone, but no matter the tradition, being surrounded by loved ones on Christmas Day or Eve is what the holidays are all about.
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