Noche Buena is one of the many Christmas traditions that our family practices every year. Not a single Christmas eve passes by without doing this yearly tradition. At the strike of midnight on Christmas, the kids are woken up to check their Christmas socks for gifts from Santa. More gifts are also under the Christmas tree for the kids and adults to unwrap. The adults take turn in singing their favorite songs on the Karaoke machine or play Bingo. More family games are done while feasting on the sumptuous meal laid out on the dining table, right after saying grace.
our Christmas dinner
forgot to take out cake and salad from the ref
siomai - gone in 50 seconds
But before the Noche Buena feast, preparing for it is very tiring and stressful. The gifts are bought two months before the celebration. It’s purposely done that way, bought way ahead of the December month, to save on the high prices that shots up during the holiday season and to avoid the Christmas rush.
Next on the to-do list are the clothes. We have a theme-color every year for Noche Buena and the Media Noche, New Year family dinner, as well. For the Christmas dinner, most of the time, we usually wear red, green or red and green - the Christmas colors. The next year’s “color of the year” is usually the theme-color for the New Year dinner.
A small family meeting is done for the planning of what to prepare for Christmas dinner. Usually with a bottle of wine, and sometimes non-alcoholic “wine”, and chips. A list of the menu is then done, as well as the list of the ingredients that needs to be bought a day before the Christmas dinner.
The day before Christmas. The morning of December 24 is done visiting the grocery store to buy the ingredients needed for Christmas dinner. Last minute buying of gifts is also squeezed in on the schedule. After the usual dinner, kids then prepare Santas cookie and milk, put it under the tree then they got tucked in bed at around 8 pm. Excited kids, read: my son, begin snoring at 10 pm or 11 pm already.
Before midnight, someone has to take a big bite on the cookie and drink some of the milk. When midnight strikes, the happy chaos begins.