“You can already hear the murmur of a gentle breeze; it’s the fresh air of Christmas.” I felt that murmur for many years, I still remember it and I long for it. On an island where 365 days of the year the weather is practically the same except when that December breeze arrives. With it comes the Christmas music that goes from “If they do not give me a drink I will cry” to “The kings did not arrive”. These songs cover the needs of everyone, from the joy of the ones who have everything to the nostalgic and sadness of the ones who does not have material goods or who are alone and sad at such a significant time.
I remember getting up early with my mother and going to the Gift Mass known as the “Misa Aguinaldo” and to the Rooster’s Mass known as “Misa del Gallo” which was at midnight on Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve for my family meant a full house; a house full of family, music and typical dishes. There was no shortage of cakes, rice with pigeon peas, blood sausage and roasted suckling pig. The voice and the guitar of my brother singing “Once again glory to God in the sky Christmas returned” are unforgettable. I enjoyed the promises to the Holy Kings, the rosaries sung, the rosary of the dawn, the day of the innocent saints, the octavitas, the parrandas ”Spanish caroling”, the toast of the bohemian and many others. There are many reasons for celebration and joy; that’s why I say that there aren’t any Christmas’s like those on my beautiful island.
Many Congratulations and Happy New Year.
By María M. García, BA, MA