I’m not sure exactly what I expected Christmas to be like being away from home in a hot country but it has been everything that I hoped it would be.
The commercial aspects of Christmas over here are much lower key and the Christmas card sending sensation doesn’t exist which suited us down to the ground. Christmas celebrations in Argentina take place on Christmas Eve, with Christmas Day being more akin to Boxing Day in the UK. Following in tradition with late eating, the main Christmas meal is eaten with family around 10 or 11pm on Christmas Eve. Roast turkey or pork is typical, the same as in the UK, only with different accompaniments such as various salads and often cooked as an Asado (BBQ). To toast the start of Christmas Day, champagne and Pan Dulce is shared at Midnight to the sound of firework explosions, then presents are opened from under the Christmas tree. It’s common for people to stay awake all night chatting with friends and family and then spend most of Christmas Day sleeping.
Over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year in Argentina we were treated to clear blue skies, sunshine and 30 degrees which I can honestly say I preferred to the bitter cold in the UK at this time of year. And we celebrated in true Argentinian style with our family, incredible food and very thoughtful presents – as if we could be made to feel anymore welcome that we already have been! Being here in person to witness the excitement of our gorgeous 18-month old niece’s face when she was opening her presents was just magical. We didn’t quite make an all-nighter but I think 4.30am was pretty good going!
We had to be up pretty early Christmas day as we'd been asked to be part of our best friends' wedding proposal in the UK via Skype. Thankfully despite our hangover haze, we got the 'WILL' and 'YOU' signs held up in the right order so it was the start of a question rather than a command and she said yes! Then after speaking to our families back home and spying on the yummy food they were eating, we headed over to visit some new friends to relax on their roof terrace with a pool and yummy Asado food of our own. The smug experience of being in a pool in your bikini on Christmas Day is a novelty I would recommend to all fellow Brits. An all-round fantastic experience (even if being a Yorkshire lass I missed my Yorkshire puddings and gravy!)