Christmas has always been a special time of the year for me. In Cuba, as a child, my mother would spend days setting up our Nativity. It was composed of hundreds of pieces that depicted the manger and its many animal and human participants. My father would get a crane to light a huge pine tree in front of our house with what were normal size colored lamp bulbs. When we came to the United States and lived in Chicago there was great wonderment upon seeing snow for the first time. As a student in France, I was amazed by the cultural richness of the Christmas feasts. With friends in London, I shared Dickensian holidays full of similar joy. Through the years, our Christmas Holidays offered great opportunities to mix our celebrations and share the bounties of two cultures. Around our table friends shared in food known and foreign with a sense of adventure and delight. I miss my family and some of the wondrous Noche Buenas feasts we enjoyed on Christmas Eve.
I am off to share at my friend's table and festivities. It will be the first time I celebrate in North Carolina. I am taking a break from the blog though I might find something to surprise you from my travels while the garden sleeps. I wish you the best of holidays wherever you are and hope for us all a healthy and happy 2010. Until then.