I don't know how does it work in other countries, but in Colombia, praying the Christmas Novena is a huge tradition here. For those of you who don't know what it is, is just a prayer made for nine consecutive days until christmas eve. It's usually a very festive celebration, where friends and family gather and eat pastries, talking, planning holiday trips (and also, there's some praying in between). This year's novenas were really fun. Each day's novena was hosted by a friend, so I had the chance to catch up with people I hadn't seen since before finals,gossiping, meeting new people...It was good because I think at the end of the semester we were all so stressed out about finals we just wanted to kill each other. But there we were, friends again.
It's a shame novenas at home have become so boring. When I was a child, I was usually the happiest one at home...we sang christmas carols, and there was always someone over, it was fun. These are some of the classis moments I remember the most:
- The massive amounts of food we ate
- My uncle, who gots drunk before we even start praying
- How everyone tried to keep up my dad's rithm when we sing carols (when dad was a child, he studied in a Catholic Boarding school, so I guess he learnt to sing at the children's chorus, and that's why he can reach those high notes that nobody else can)
- The way my mother always forgot the lyrics of the carols, so she always made up her own, and we all ended up laughing (with her, not at her)
But now it's just my parents, grandma and I, praying like we were at some relative's funeral. I don't know when was it that the relationship with my parents became so weird...I wish things were different, but at the same time it's like none of us really wants to do anything about it.
Christmas eve was better, because my brother came over. He's the fun one in the family, he's always making awkward jokes, and things change a lot when he comes. Plus, his wife is really funny too, my brother an her are always teasing each other, so when me all get together we have a really good time.
I'll probably spend New Year's eve with some friends...We've been trying to travel, taking into account that several of the main colombian cities are hosting carnivals these days...If everything turns out as planned, It'll be the first time I'll spend New Year's eve without my parents...maybe being appart will make the time we spend together more valuable. Or at least we won't make ach others holidays' miserable.