When I decided to stay put for Christmas this year, I wondered what the season would be like. Would I feel all alone? Would I be invited to parties? Having been sick with one thing or another for two months, I didn't feel like throwing a party of my own.
My first three Christmases living in Costa Rica, I went back to Florida and spent them with Jim. Then last year he came here. So this is my first year in five that I am spending Christmas in my home.
Well, I needn't have worried about feeling all alone. There are so many parties to go to that I have to say no sometimes, and just stay home to recuperate. I feel blessed to be included in so many festivities.
I kicked off the party season on December 11 by going to Ellen's Chanukah party. That brought back memories as we sang the blessings and lit the menorah. The next day was the PC Club party way up in the mountains of Heredia. Everyone brought delicious food (everyone always brings delicious food to every party I attend), and I led a Yankee Swap of nicely-wrapped white elephant items.
That's me leading the Yankee Swap
The day after that (it was a full weekend) was the CostaRicaLiving (Yahoo group) party in Grecia at La Galeria restaurant, followed by a chocolate fondue party at Debora Shapiro's house. I made new Grecia friends at both parties. The night after that, I was invited to dinner at Barb & Richie's house. The night after that I was happy to stay home and rest my stomach.
Then the following weekend circuit started on Friday with a potluck turkey-dinner meal with my Brujas group (aka my Thursday lunch ladies). Carol Marianne entertained us with pictures of her trip to Nepal and Bhutan, and handed out gifts to us all.
That night I went to Joy's party in Cariari where about 25 of us played games. Saturday I stayed home all day and night, and worked in the kitchen. I made turkey soup (I got to take home the carcass from Friday's meal), and baked cookies and banana/chocolate bread. Sunday I went to Sima's house, where we played charades and laughed til we cried. Then I went to Coco's here in Santa Ana, where I hadn't been for weeks, and watched a tope (horse parade).
Yesterday, a Tuesday, was the office party for two small companies I've done some work for the last few months, then seven of us headed over to Abi's house for her Tamalada, a party where people eat the hundreds of tamales that were made over a two- or three-day period. Abi had a DJ and a dance floor, and we danced and had a great time. Tonight I'm going to another party. Tomorrow night, Christmas Eve, I'll be at Laurie's party in Cariari, and Christmas day I'm going to yet another party. And I think that's it until the New Year's Eve party and then the Hair of the Dog party on New Year's Day.
A pot of tamales, tied up in little packages
Geez, what a life I lead here. One party after another. And, of course, every party features food, desserts and alcohol. I've gotten some great recipes, and I am becoming somewhat of a baker.
It's comforting and fun to spend time with friends, together in a foreign country where most of us don't have family here.