In Buenos Aires Christmas falls in Summer and Santa Clause wears shorts. It’s nice to come back and have some nice, down to earth, and really “normal”. This Christmas was low key, more like the ones in sitcoms than movies.
This year was the first time I did the rosary thing at Annette’s house. Everyone kneels on the floor and repeats Our Fathers and Hail Marys. It gets old quickly. I’m used to Judaism where even if you aren’t sure what’s being said, trying to figure out what page you’re on is at least a great brain teaser for the kids. You can focus on understanding what the Hebrew means. The praying was in Spanish so by the second time I’d figured it out. I think you repeat it 50 times… At the end there’s a small Jesus doll that people kiss the doll and get a giftbag of an orange and some chocolate.
After the rosary were the gifts. Growing up Jewish, Christmas as always what the “other” kids did. We’d have Hannukah and all. I remember always hearing about the kids who had one Christian and one Jewish parent and got presents for both holidays. That was epic, I thought.
Each year Annette’s family does a white elephant gift exchange. While I’m a part of it, I am not told or expected to participate because I don’t know anyone in Annette’s extended family. Instead, Annette’s mom buys presents for the people whose names I “draw” and when I show up I get presents from people who hardly know who I am. It’s funny because people thank me for things and I have to figure out what I apparently bought for them.