Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Boxing Day! But where are all the boxes?

I can't figure out what to do with my day today.  In Canada (as in the UK), today is Boxing Day.  That means Holiday.  That means giant sales.  That means more family time, ultimately making Christmas a 3-day long event, which is followed on the 27th by my birthday and the 31st by New Years. 

This week is otherwise known as a giant holiday week where I do as much eating and as little working as possible.  So why'd I go to work today???? 

Right.  Because I'm in Brazil. 

Working on December 26 just feels wrong!! It makes the Christmas holiday feel incomplete somehow!  (I'm whining for nothing - I only actually had one student today, but my HUSBAND has to work and I'm a little lonely without him here) 

So, it doesn't really feel like Monday OR Boxing Day, but this weekend happily felt like Christmas for me.  December 24th is the Big Day in Brazil, where everyone gathers together (at my Aunt's house in our case) to eat a TON of food, drink a LOT, and wait for midnight.  At midnight everyone shouts Feliz Natal! Feliz Natal! and runs around hugging and kissing and smiling and laughing.  Then, even without children there to announce it Tom, someone inevitably shouts Amigo Oculto!! which is the Brazilian version of Secret Santa. 

My Christmas sounds a lot like Tom's actually, I swear we are part of different families!

Well, as Tom explained, the game in Brazil is to describe your secret friend in a tricky way and make the others guess who you have.  I try to distract myself while waiting for my name to be called because when it inevitably is, that means two things:
1.You have to gratefully accept your gift (in Portuguese)
and 2. You have to describe your secret friend in a funny and clever way (in Portuguese). 

Luckily for me, just the way I speak Portuguese is funny enough for my family so it's usually not toooo much effort, apart from a little embarrassment (but I'm used to that by now)!  Just to be sure, I practiced my speech for about a week.  All four sentences of it.  It turned out great.

 This year we also celebrated with my immediate family "Canadian Style" on Christmas Morning.  Laura brought stockings for me on her trip here last month, so everyone had a full stocking to open and after we opened up all the gifts to each other.  I got the feeling that everyone liked my family's tradition of opening presents one person at a time, from youngest to oldest.

Only a few tears from me this year, on Christmas Eve morning!  As soon as the sweet Carribbean sound of Boney-M's "Mary's Boy Child" started up, I couldn't control them.  Listen to it and I dare you not to cry.  Haha.  Love that album!  I hope everyone had a nice holiday!


  1. This sounds like so much fun!!!!! I like the amigo oculto and the midnight thing....very different than here and Canada I assume..


  2. Just reading this now, so sweet ;)


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