AWESOME photo from: http://www.catherinehall.net/blog/2010/12/22/8_reasons_i_love_christmas/
It wouldn't be Christmas in Brazil without a little bit of family drama now would it?
Mr. Rant and I started asking around about Christmas plans early because my parents are coming this year. The norm from years past meant that we would spend Christmas Eve night (the big night of celebration here) at Mr. Rant's Maternal Grandmother's place. We would then have Christmas day lunch at Mr. Rant's Paternal Grandmother's place.
This year we can not have Christmas eve because the Grandmother died last year a week or so before Christmas. I'm horrible in that I think that it is a crap excuse. The Grandma would want us to have the same party. She lived for that! This woman was hardcore and she wouldn't be phased by death. Hell, she outlived most of her relatives. But this is coming from someone who lost all but one Grandmother early in life. It's sad but normal for me. They got to have her for so long. I figure that is even more reason to celebrate and continue the traditions she started. To each their own I suppose.
Anyway, my in-laws stated early on that they were going to stay in the country. Without other conflicts, the rest of the family was going to celebrate with each of their other side.
So the Christmas day lunch didn't seem to be happening either. The Grandparents are getting up there in age and it's a lot of work to have all 1 billion of their offspring and their offspring's offsprings and spouses over. They were leaning towards keeping it mellow.
Since I suffer from American planning ADD, I resolved to keep the Christmas spirit going and host a lunch for my parents and a friend and her parents who are visiting from Finland. Well, once a lunch was announced my in-laws decided they could come in, if I made it a reasonably early lunch. Alright, I decided I can make a lighter big Christmas breakfast and we will have lunch around 1230 (thank goodness for air-conditioning).
Now it seems that I am making a new Brazilian tradition. The Aunts from the Christmas eve group will also be joining us. Each one has told me they will be bringing something. Something, like a cod fish dish or ham or something. Something. I personally love this because it makes me feel like a real daughter. The women have a claim over my home, my lunch, and whatever it is I serve. Damn right, I am a part of this family!
We now also have a lanche (snack) date with my Father-in-law's side. At 4pm on Christmas day, we are to go over to celebrate and have a snack. I love this because I will get to see everyone, and on the day that I consider important!
Let's also not forget the newly announced possible Christmas Eve dinner held by Mr. Rant's Maternal Aunt. So while it will not be the same as before, there is so no way that we will eat before 10pm nor get out of there before midnight. Brazilian custom.
That, of course, means that I will be baking for 2 days, receiving my parents on the 24th, playing Santa late on Christmas eve, eating a big Christmas Eve dinner, big Christmas breakfast, big Christmas lunch, and a big Christmas snack.
I'm thinking about asking for endorsements from companies. They could match the amount of food I eat in that 48 hrs and then donate it to the homeless. Imagine the amount of mouths we could feed!