In Maltrata, there is much more emphasis on December 24th and the early hours of the 25th as opposed to the US where the Christmas celebration is on the 25th.
Much of the day the 24th was spent preparing food for that evening. That night, family started coming over around 9:30 or 10:00 and we chatted and had some drinks and appetizers. Following tradition, the celebration would have started at midnight, but we bumped it up an hour and started at 11:00. We split into two groups, one with the baby Jesus dolls/figures (I think there were 3 or 4 that night), and sang the posada song to ask to come in and stay. After that there was a prayer, followed by singing a lullaby to baby Jesus. Everyone gave the baby Jesus figures a kiss and then they were placed in the Nativity scene.
After that we had a toast and then had dinner (an all out feast!). After dinner we roasted marshmallows and then lit firecrackers outside. We never did get to the piñata. The last of the group went home and we went to bed around 2:30am.
|my Christmas dinner|
|the chicken (which hadn't made it onto|
my plate for the plate photo)
In the past, children received their presents on January 6th for Día de los Reyes or Three Kings Day / Day of the Wiseman when the Wiseman arrived and gave their gifts to baby Jesus. However, Santa has become more and more popular (thanks to globalization, TV, immigration, etc). In the house where I stayed, Santa left a gift for each kid to wake up to on the 25th, but the bigger gifts showed up on the 6th.
|presents from Santa the morning of the 25th|
The 25th was pretty low key. Family came over throughout the day to eat leftovers from the night before, but there wasn’t too much else going on. I did get to Skype with my family though (I love technology!).