Damn I miss DR… today I am feeling beyond nostalgic for my little island, for the grandiose Christmas spirit such a tiny island can have. It is Christmas Eve and I am sitting at my desk working a half-day, if I was in DR I do be at the market picking up grapes, apples, and Telera (very famous bread Dominican’s eat around Christmas time). Growing up in DR I remember Christmas was such an extra special occasion, even when I didn’t get to spend it with my father, mother or brother Christmas was still very special to me. Is funny but even something like eating apples & grapes was extremely special because I would only get to eat them around Christmas time, here in the USA apples and grapes are super abundant all year-round therefore it is no longer a thing I wait anxiously for. Is funny how not having things at the tips of your hands really makes you appreciate it them so much more.
One fun thing I remember is the “Aguinaldos” this is very strange but super cool, you get together with your friends and neighbors and go around houses singing Christmas songs with a drum, guira, and acordeon. Usually you are given ginger tea, coffee, cookies, hot chocolate, or any other little treat when you get to the houses or also one house could be assigned to have sort of “the last stop” and this is where everyone gathers to have jengibre-ginger tea! This ginger tea is super famous around Christmas time in DR.
I remember having very simple Christmas trees in DR… I will cut a branch, paint it white, decorate it and voilà there is my Dominican Christmas Tree! Once I decorated the tree with this gummy candy that comes in separate wrappers, aslo another thing you don’t get to have all the time is just sort more famous around Christmas over there. Also I never received gift on Christmas morning usually my gift will come on the 6 of January by the Three Kings and not Santa. We usually have a few Secret Santas, in school, with close friends, and family. Another cool thing is Fireworks! Yes! We have Fireworks on Christmas Eve!
These little traditions and things is what I miss so much around this time of year. I think what the problem is that I feel like I no longer have a set tradition, I no longer fully have a full on Dominican Christmas or a full on American Christmas. But don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy Christmas here too but sometimes I just can’t help to feel nostalgic of the feeling that Christmas was to me growing up in DR. But I am thankful and blessed to be able to share my new Christmas with the part of my family I didn’t get to celebrate with growing up and that’s a bright side! Another great thing I do really like of the “American” traditions are the whole sitting down to watch Christmas movies and baking cookies as I didn’t have this growing up.
I wish you all an exceptionally awesome Navidad anywhere in the World that you may be.
*Quisqueya is Dominican Republic – name the local’s use sometimes.
My Favorite English Christmas Song – Sarah McLachlan – Happy Xmas
My Favortie Spanish Christmas Song is – Alegre Vengo de La Montaña
Merry Christmas!!! 🙂