As many of you know, Latin families celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. At midnight to be precise. There is food, dancing, music, friends and all sorts of games. They call is Noche Buena (Good Night.) We used to do this with Harvey’s parents before we had kiddos. I really enjoyed it. This is such a fun tradition that we have skipped for the past several years because we have little kids and we put them to bed at a reasonable time so that Santa can come and leave presents if our kiddos have been good.
This year, on the way home from my parent’s house, Harvey’s cousin called and let us know that they were celebrating Noche Buena and would love for us to show up. We decided to make a very quick “cameo” appearance and drop off some very meager gifts to his cousins. We showed up to a huge houseful of people. There was sancocho (Colombian stew-AMAZING) in the biggest pot that I have ever seen. You could easily fit all of my kids into it and have room to spare (Ok, that was a little too Hansel and Gretel.)
Kaeson was sounds asleep so, we put him in an upstairs room. Kyra was nearly asleep and Toad was ready to party the night away. He was all engines and ready to go. Instead of doing presents at midnight, they decided to stay ahead of the storm and do them at 9:00. They all grab a seat around the living room and pass out everyone’s gifts to each other. Everyone ends up with a huge pile and them open them all at once.
We were shocked/ touched/ embarrassed that there were gifts for us… a lot of them. We were completely unprepared. We had no idea that they were doing this. They were mainly for our kiddos but we felt bad that we hadn’t shown up with anything but fruit, and even at that we didn’t anticipate so many families being there. Kelton had a ball. He received a darling steering wheel which made all sorts of sounds and lit up in many different colors. Kyra nearly fell off her chair from excitement (and complete exhaustion) when she received a nurse kit. We all know how much Kyra is obsessed with becoming a nurse.
I was talking to Harvey’s cousin and she mentioned to me that she was so excited that we finally made it to a Noche Buena. Apparently they have been inviting us every year for the past 7 years but we have never heard about it. They have told my inlaws who somehow have forgotten to tell us about it. After a good laugh, we decided that any time we had a family function that we would talk and leave the parents out of it.