Note: If you’re a vegan, I don’t think this piece of writing is suitable for you, I’m sorry.
I love Christmas, guess I always will. I cry out of most Christmas songs and feel deeply touched, emotionally connected with pretty much everything that has to do with this time of the year.
When I was a little girl, my dad always ‘took care’ of the meat we ate at home, at these festivities the pork was divine.
Dad loved baking it in honor of his deceased mom. He grew up in an underprivileged environment therefore having pork once a year alone meant Christmas for him and his 7 siblings.
So, after he got married, every year around April he would go down to a local farm choose a piglet, start to “feed” (at home he would spare food for the piglet, we never got to know all that for sure -I mean I guess he did say it over and over, but then again we wouldn’t listen) and pay for it. By the end of the year that would’ve been paid in full and his to take home and bake for Christmas.
My Mom was in charge of the many desserts, granny made the Christmas cake, and some Brazilian traditional treats, she did it like no one else does, or ever will -after all she was my granny-. As for the rest of the family my uncles and aunties would bring other foods along with their presence and love.
Then Daddy died in one May that was so unfair! My elder brother and I were living away and used to go home on weekends and for holidays. That year we had a series of financial setbacks, but we managed to buy a nice huge chicken, Mom was still shaken by the fact of not having him around, granny too old and busy taking care of my grandpa in bed. So I stepped up and offered to do most of the cooking, when I thought about to the poultry: a chicken… I would have to season it to perfection to make up for not having the usual turkey, not having my Dad’s seasoning, and having no idea what Daddy used besides love to make his food taste so like Christmas. I had to make sure my little siblings wouldn’t miss him that much. And I was left with a chicken.
One day before Christmas Eve a man knocked at our door asking for Mom. He told her that earlier that year Daddy went to his farm picked a piglet and was sending it food as usual then he stopped. Because that particular year daddy had paid in full, he never did that before, the man assumed daddy would go and fetch the pork. Much to his surprise he learned the daddy had passed away early in May, so he decided to take it himself and hand it to Mom.
Mom almost fainted, feeling sorry for both her and the pig, not knowing what to do with it, and my brothers gladly carried it into the kitchen. We never knew for sure if daddy had paid for it in full or not, it was so not like him.
Anyway, now I had to be quick, still no clue, but much more material to work with. I was deeply touched, daddy looked after us. Turned on the radio, to “fill up my tank” and cooked like crazy.
Do I have to say that luckily I found in the rear back of a cupboard a large variety of seasoning labeled with his handwriting? Do I have to say that our dog who was always beside him while cooking, was now restlessly beside me? Do I have to say that there were no mourning tears for that Christmas Day? Some relatives showed up, even one wealthy uncle, he could not resist trying what he said was: “-Some delicious turkey!”?
No, I don’t, because that very Christmas taught me we have to bury our beloved dead ones, pay them respect, share our love, and keep going. Once in a while we weep, then we keep going. That is life, with all there is to it.
… … … … …
If you ask me what our plans for this coming X’mas are, I ‘ll have to say: we don’t know yet. Because we did not quite fit in the Brazilian communities up here, and do not have close Canadian friends, to share such a family event together, we might either spend the three of us, eating my food, again; or travel somewhere interesting and have a good time.
It takes about 2 days to go back to Brazil and the tickets for this time of the year are shamefully too expensive. Of course I miss my family which is kind of large, and my in-laws too, after 16 years together they are kind of my own family extended.
I don’t regret being here especially because my daughter is so happy, I am not sorry for us, we all know that in one way or another we will end up having what is takes for a perfect Season, that is being among the ones we love and care the most.
Thank you for passing by,