I received a Noche Buena package from Lady’s Choice Mayonnaise last week. It was kind of early but well, that’s the whole point of this gift… an advance Noche Buena. To my foreign readers, Noche Buena are Spanish words referring to the night of December 24 or Christmas Eve. The biggest feast of the holiday season usually takes place this night in Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines. It’s usually dinner but here in our country Noche Buena takes place at midnight.
Anyhow, the basket had just about everything I needed to make Classic Macaroni Salad, a Noche Buena staple in these parts.
So anyway, back to the whole idea of advance Noche Buena (I suggest watching the 3-minute video above). These days, spending Christmas Eve together is more challenging than it used to be. There’s the horrendous Metro Manila holiday traffic to take up most of our time, time of shifts in certain jobs (call center agents, nurses, doctors, etc.), and then there are the OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) — not all of them have the liberty to come home and spend the holidays with their families.
Anyhow, I watched the video and wow, it really hit close to home. As a mom, of course I want to be with my family during Christmas Eve! I’m fortunate because at this point in my life, I get to spend Christmas Eve every year with my husband and kids. Prior to getting married though I spent most of them with my video games. My mom was (and is still) based in the US, my dad was not always around (he passed away earlier this year), and it was usually just my sister and I in our room doing our own thing. Well my stepmom usually had ham and queso de bola we could eat during midnight but that was pretty much it. I think the last time we had Noche Buena in the traditional sense was back in the 80s when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. My lola prepared all her home-cooked specialties… hamonado, puto at dinuguan, pancit, ube halaya… and yes there was always macaroni salad. I remember my lola’s house all bright and merry and sparkling with Christmas lights. There was just a certain magic when everyone would get together and happily partake of the feast my lola had prepared. It was all about togetherness and family bonds. I miss those days. Like my mom, my lola is also based in the US. Our own family celebrations are so much simpler now but as long as I have my hubby and kids with me, everything is right in the world.
If doing something as simple as adjusting Noche Buena to a specific time (not necessarily the eve of December 24) when everyone can be together is all it takes to be one big happy family during the holidays then I’m all for it!
What do you think?
Thank you Lady’s Choice for the advance Noche Buena package — whichever date and time we choose to have our Noche Buena at least we already have one dish ready and raring to go!
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