Yesterday was Christmas Day, we spent it eating left overs, watching lots of movies and just relaxing. That's pretty much how all of our Christmas holidays have been spent, as far as I can recall. You see in Peru we celebrate on Christmas Eve. I believe most Latino/ Hispanic households do. We drink hot chocolate, eat panetone (except I don't like this one bit...fake fruit and raisins...actually I can do the fake fruit but raisins- NO SIR). We have our special dinner that night, I made a roast- the boys grow tired and weary of turkey by the time Thanksgiving has come and gone. The attention for us has been the nativity scene. My mom brought me one from Peru, just like the one pictured above, I have Mary and Joseph, of course baby Jesus, the wise men, the shepherds, the animals too. I like the set and my sweet mom carried it on her lap all the way from another continent just so I could have it.
One thing I didn't have in Peru was any notion of Santa Claus. I don't even really recall a Christmas tree there. I do know that in 1972 the government banned Santa Claus or any mention of him on the country’s radio and TV programs. The Peruvian government alleged that he was a depiction of western capitalism, greed, and an anti-Christian myth. The Peruvian government pretty much runs and controls all of that there until today. Oh and I do remember that on January 6 kids get a gift or more. That's the date associated with the arrival of the Three Wise Men and the gifts they brought to baby Jesus.
In Peru, I remember receiving one gift from my parents. I think it was always either a baby doll, which I love even now and maybe tea sets...I still like those too. On our first Christmas in the USA there were lots of new traditions. First and foremost, there was snow. We moved to Columbus, Indiana and it was very different there. Add a Christmas tree and Santa plus some sweet ladies that worked with my uncle that equaled to lots of baby dolls and barbies. Plus both my aunties that were seamstresses made my sister and I lots of barbie dolls clothes. My mom knitted outfits for the baby dolls and we were set for a long time. I wish I could find those ladies and thanked them for counteless hours of playtime. Oh and the sisters from the church gave each one of us a new coat. I wasn't fashion savvy then but I do recall looking at it and thinking..."that's kinda ugly". My mom on the other hand was very grateful and made sure we thanked the sisters during our lunch with them at Pizza Hut.