We’re waiting for patiently for Christmas to start. It’s 7.30pm on the 24th December and here in Colombia, Christmas begins at night on Christmas Eve.
This for me is strange. It’s been a strange few weeks. Maybe it’s Christmas. Maybe it’s the fact that I am sharing the apartment with five other family members. But I haven’t been in the best of Christmas spirits. In fact, I have been in a bad mood.
Spirits is what I’m missing; Sherry, Avocat, Baileys. Plus, mulled wine, mince pies, brandy cream, pate, cheese, crackers, Japanese rice crackers, cheese, Jacobs crackers, stuffing, pigs in blankets, turkey, gravey, red wine by open fires, Christmas carols, pubs…
I could go on.
Instead, I am staring at a table of stuffed boiled eggs, stuffed apples, potato salad, jelly, natilla, lettuce salad, roast pork, which goes with some kind of dark, sweet sauce.
Here are some of the other unique Christmas traditions from Colombia that I have been experiencing over the past few days:
Every night for nine nights in the lead up to Christmas, prayers are read from a book. Family and friends gather to hear the prayers, and drink. Obviously.
It was the night before Christmas
Christmas is celebrated at night on the 24th. And the following day, not much seems to happen.
It’s a custom for Colombians to get in their cars and drive around Bogota looking at Christmas lights. Pretty much like London, but the lights are in local parks not store windows. This just adds to the Bogota traffic.
Work, work, work
Unlike in London, where in my previous jobs, we would be closed in the week between Christmas Eve and the 2nd January. But unfortunately, the offices in Colombia are open. And functioning. This sucks. This is usually a week when I am sat on the sofa, drinking too much sherry, watching Christmas specials and overdoing it on the cheese and pate. Instead, I am staring idly at my computer.
Ok, better go. The apartment is filling up with people: grandparents, tios, cousins, children. There’s so much noise that my Juanes CD is being drowned out by screams and demands to watch the Santa Tracker online. Ok, so I do miss the Christmas things from the UK, but after all, Christmas is all about family. No matter where they are, its home.
Merry Christmas everyone!
I’ll write to you again shortly. Promise.