Loyal readers, fellow bloggers, and travelers across the world – Happy Holidays to you and yours! I’m enjoying a little escape from the snowy streets of Denver, Colorado for a few weeks of sweet Floridian sunshine. My Christmas festivities involve a traditional Cuban noche buena feast, served beneath tall palm trees on my parents’ warm patio – I hope everyone is enjoying lots of warmth and family cheer where ever this holiday finds you.
Last night, my wonderful friend Krista helped organize a multicultural celebration that brought together a crowd of old friends, who over the years have become our own little family unit. We created an intoxicated hodgepodge of Christmas crafts and Jewish fare that left us all feeling encompassed by the spirit of the season. I feasted on homemade potato latkes, pasta that came shaped like pine trees and stars of David, juicy brisket, rum-spiked eggnog, and more.
My favorite part of the evening was the arts and crafts portion of our partying. Krista went wild with supplies, and we had a blast creating foam snowmen and trees decked out in accessories, little dreidels, and a chaotic gingerbread house that ended up covered in every bit of crafting supplies I could get my drunken hands on. Lesson of the evening: don’t leave me unattended with a table full of little felt ornaments and a half-finished gingerbread house.
These “familial” gatherings are always my favorite part of coming home for the holidays. Hosted at the home of my ex-girlfriend, one might assume that hanging out with your ex’s family could be a little awkward, but over the years the Boué and Harrington clans have become a true family. Jenny and I have both been happily dating other people for years, but we will always remain connected as family. Our two nuclear units plus our congregation of Miami’s finest lesbians, old high school cronies, and adorable Jewish men combine to create one of my favorite collections of human beings on the planet.
It’s a rarity to see our entire crew come together, but Krista managed to put together an excellent event that miraculously brought us all to the same place, at the same time. We crafted, clinked glasses, and enjoyed a new twist on beer pong – each round’s loser was subjected to a karaoke performance of the winner’s choice. Hilarity ensued, but the best musical musings came from the rousing sessions of piano playing and sing-a-longs in the living room. Since this year’s noche buena dinner has been reduced to my immediate family (it’s usually a mess of at least a dozen rowdy Cubans), having this holiday celebration was the highlight of my holidays.
Here’s to wishing you safe travels, savory feasts, and celebrating the true meaning of this season – enjoying the company of your loved ones. My family has moved away from our old traditions of exchanging gifts, and decided to focus our holiday on the importance of being together. I encourage everyone to do the same – although a little present exchange never hurts.