Although in some countries, like Australia, the Christmas celebration occurs on the 25th of December during the day, in Argentina the most important gathering happens on Christmas Eve. We put on the nicest tablecloths and prepare a special menu for which everyone contributes with something to share such as turkey, salad, sandwiches and desserts, but also the typical Argentinean barbeque is many times the final option. Nevertheless, the holiday season starts much earlier, when the houses and the cities dress up for Christmas. All around the world the symbol of this festivity is the pine tree with fairy lights, wreaths, and angels. There is no certainty on how this tradition started, but the evergreen fir tree has been used thousands of years ago to celebrate winter festivals (pagan and Christian). Pagans used branches of it to decorate their homes during the winter solstice, as it made them think of the spring to come. More here. While we in the South of the world have a warm and sunny climate, we still use these wintery rituals at this special time of the year. We decorate our spaces and bring light to them to celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ!
There is a great atmosphere around us during the Holiday Season, which brings Joy and unity in the families. We buy gifts for kids, friends, parents and cousins and enjoy the activities each city has to offer with festive spirit. The City of Buenos Aires coordinates a pop-up Christmas Park for children to dream and play with the arrival of Santa Claus. They can write letters take photos with Santa and play joyfully in the diverse recreational activities. We always visit this park and we have the greatest time! We recommend this Christmas Park.
This year Carmela and Mamo where the main doers of the Christmas decoration. We made of this ritual a family activity in which every member participated searching for and prepping the tree. Living in a big farm, we are lucky to be able to use our own resources. We cut a branch from one of the cedar trees. Ramon was so happy playing with his Black and Decker Chainsaw that we bought in our last trip to USA. We set up the new Christmas tree in a vintage milk jar that I won in an antiques auction. We added color with the tassels that Jose brought from India, some snowmen few shopped in Miami and paper fairy lights from Thailand. This way we personalized our tree, made it the perfect combination of local-home and international-traveler tree that we filled with beautiful souvenirs from around the world!
We are ready to celebrate Christmas Eve!
Photos and content: Pilar Luna