Christmas time in Dublin is defiantly hectic, and even during the weekday the small streets of Dublin seem to still be packed. This year I’ll be spending the holiday season in Ireland just like I have the past year. My partner and I made the wise decision to go into town during the week instead of the weekend as to avoid the crowd. The game plan was to get a small brekki and start our Christmas shopping extravaganza. Of course, after we get brekki we ran into my partner’s childhood friend on our way to one of the shops, so that was a nice surprise. We proceeded to my partner’s favorite store, the men’s outlet store. After that we went to a Brazilian shop to see if I could by chance find some Colombian treats to make for Christmas Eve. To my avail, I had no such luck, and so my search continued. We went to a store called “Forbidden Planet”, which is a cool place to find knick knacks and pop culture products, but keep it mind it is expensive. We decided to split up from there so we could shop for one another.
I went on my way, and went into a sweet shop to take a look. Then I went on my way to another sweet shop, specifically an American one to see if I could find milk duds for my partner Daniel. I had no luck once again, and I decided to treat myself to some Swedish fish instead. Then I went on my way to Dame street to head to George’s Street arcade, although somehow Daniel found me and decided it was a good idea to scare me. He just got lucky that none of my Swedish fish were ruined in his attempt to surprise me. We walked up to George’s Street arcade and parted ways once again. I wanted to see if the fudge man was around, but sadly that was not the case. I was just having no luck for my search for anything, and it was very disheartening. I wafted around Grafton street and entered a few small shops. I went to the Disney store to see if I could find any bargains, and did the same in the Stephen’s green shopping centre. It was nice to see all the decorations. It reminded me of Christmas lights in New York and Colombia. Although the lights in Colombia and New York are just actually mental.
I do enjoy spending Christmas with my partner’s family but nothing compares to Christmas at my house. Although Daniel also has a large family, the only family that comes over for his Christmas are just his uncle, aunt, and their two kids. On Christmas Eve the kids go to sleep early, and on Christmas Day everyone wakes up early to open presents that Santa delivered the night before. Christmas Dinner is eaten at two in the afternoon, and after that the drinking starts.
Meanwhile, Christmas is celebrated completely differently at my home. When December comes, my grandmother and father decorate the inside and outside of my entire house. There is about two nativity scene decorations set up within the house. In Colombian tradition, the 7th of December is the day of the candles which celebrates the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. As in the name, the candles and lanterns are lit everywhere. From there 9 days before Christmas, novena is celebrated. Novena is nine nights of praying, singing, and eating at a different host’s house each night. In my personal experience, I never liked praying and singing, but it was completely worth it because the food was always amazing. Christmas Eve is the big night, where we have the last novena. A nice dinner is eaten, and everyone is counting down for midnight so we can open our presents. My home is always packed with all my cousins and aunts and uncles, so there is a minimum of twenty of us in my home. In Latin America, Santa was not a big deal, it was all about the baby Jesus. If you didn’t behave, baby jesus would not bring you your presents. Since I grew up in America though, I got the best of both worlds. Santa and Baby Jesus brought me presents, and I could stay up as late as I wanted. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fireworks are also displayed, they love fireworks in Colombia.
All in all, Christmas is a time to appreciate another year of health and life spent appreciating your family. For that reason, I decided to make traditional Colombian food’s for Daniel’s family on Christmas Eve. I’m hoping it all turns out well and they enjoy my cuisine. In the end that’s the great thing about traditions, it’s meant to adapt and grow with time. With that said, hope everyone has a happy holiday and a happy New Year!