Our Holiday traditions are a blend of old and new, some from this country some from other countries, some from my familia some from my husband's. When my husband and I first started dating, we found it important to establish our own traditions, not so that we could do our own thing, but so that we could have traditions that we could carry out wherever we lived and with whomever.
We, like much of the world outside of la USA, celebrate Noche Buena, or Chrismtas Eve. We always hold Noche Buena at our house. We bought a dining room set that seats 20 people comfortably with the intentions that we would ALWAYS hold Noche Buena at our casa. The night functions something like this: We eat dinner around 8:30 or 9:00PM. Sofía is asleep. If she wakes up that is fine, but like last year, she slept through the festivities (which we can’t believe). Dinner is long, leisurely, and filled with lots of food and desserts. This year we served prime rib, lamb, esparragos, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, roasted papas, melón and pan. Dessert was a scrumptious red velvet cake cheesecake with white chocolate frosting from the Cheesecake Factory via Costco. I wish I had fotos of these things! About 11PM, the guests saunter into the family room and hang out on the sofá (digesting).
We served kettle corn that is To Die For, so that they could munch on something while we prepared the hot chocolate, Pannetoni, and cream puffs. (I did say this was a mixture of cultural and familia traditions!) Right before midnight, we served our Sparkling Sofia Wine (fom Francis Coppola Winery) in our fabulous Champaign flutes so that we could all do our Feliz Navidad Brindis. Then we open regalos and then everyone goes home. It is about 1:30AM and we really are exhausted every year. We are full of food and festive jolly from our friends and familia, but we just want to go to la CAMA! We know we will have a full día ahead of us with Sofía and more gatherings of the familia and will need to recharge for more Festividades. We can’t wait until Sofía is just a little bit older so that she can partake in Noche Buena also! For now, she will be refreshed and opening all her regalos in the morning on Navidad while her parents have a sleep hangover!