Meet the Maker: Silvana from Uruguay
Hello, everyone and welcome to the PFS Christmas Chronicles blog series. It´s Silvana here from Uruguay, South America. I live in a town called Nueva Helvecia with my husband, my son and daughter, my mother and father-in-law and my three cats. We never get bored over here!
Join me to discover how to celebrate a Summer Christmas!
The Project: Handmade Holiday Joy from Uruguay
Santa brings us big gifts but you could give little stockings fillers in the form of a card! I love interactive cards with little surprises, don't you?
I've used the Stocking Full of Coal stamp set, paired with Fabulous Foiling Toner Card Fronts Snowflake Blizzard and Fabulous Toner Foil in Turquoise Blue Star Burst color.
Words and Wishes: Uruguay Holiday Greetings
The most common greeting here is “¡Feliz Navidad!” which means Merry Christmas but also you can add “y próspero año nuevo” which translates to, "and a prosperous New Year".
If you want to wish Happy Holidays! you must say ¡Felices Fiestas! In Spanish, the upside-down exclamation point ( ¡ ) is used at the beginning of all exclamatory sentences and clauses
Tinsel and Traditions: An Uruguayan Christmas Journey
The traditional day for decorating the tree it is 8th of December. This is a catholic day, but it has become a tradition. Of course, there's people like me that put the tree up one week before Christmas or is too enthusiastic and start the Holiday season in November! Under the tree we put a manger to emulate the Nativity with Mary, Joseph, little Jesus in his crib, the Three Kings with the camels, a sheep, a cow and a few more.
You must know that when Santa Claus (we call him Papá Noel) crosses the Equator line he has to change his outfit because we are ina hot and humid summer. So shorts and flip flops are allowed, specially if you have a pool in your home.
Families gather the night of the 24th because we welcome Christmas. Usually, if we are married or have a big family we choose to spend that night with one side of the family and Christmas Day with the other side. My family goes to my Sister´s house on the 24th with my brother, my mother and my nephews, and on Christmas Day we stay at home and receive everyone who wants to come and visit.
The children are waiting for Santa to come so there is a lot of expectation from the little ones. It´s common to see fireworks at midnight so we all go outside to watch them and toast and say ¡Feliz Navidad! to all the neighbors. But it´s in that moment that the adults take advantage of the fact that the kids are distracted and put all the gifts under the tree. So when they come back inside they discover that Santa came! The adults become must be quick: all secrecy, all hidden. It´s a hard job to keep all the gifts hidden, but that's part of our tradition here, and brings joy to the little one's. When I was a child, my mother and uncle made my cousins and I go look for Santa around the block and now I understand why. When my kids and my nephews where little, one of us always took them to buy fireworks to distract them. But they also had Santa himself because my mom dressed up and gave us the presents!
It´s in this moment that we all open our gifts. There is always a designated “gift giver”, the person in charge of distributing gifts. After this, we continue to chat and eat and stay up until 2 am more or less.
Cultural Cuisine: A Taste of Uruguayan Holiday Traditions
Uruguay has a lot of traditions that came with our great great grandparents from Europe. Uruguay received a lot of immigrants from all over Europe: Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany are the main countries.
For instance, I live in a place which its name literally translates as “colony” Colonia. I told you that I live in a town called Nueva Helvecia but its other name is Colonia Suiza or Swiss colony if you want. It was founded by mostly Swiss and German immigrants. There's a town a few miles away from me, founded by Italians and French inmigrants. All of this is very important because our culinary traditions were inherited from our ancestors. We eat things very caloric in this time; things that make sense in a cold weather like the Italian Panettone, the nougats, almonds… We used to cook hot dishes in this hot summer holiday time.
Nowadays, we continue with some traditions like the Panettone, but due to our hot weather, we prefer charcuterie boards and cold dishes like rolled chicken or the famous “vitel tone” or in Italian Vittelo tonnato (veal meat with tuna) with salads and refreshments. Everyone brings something to eat when they go to parties and we celebrate as a family.
But, the last day of the year or January 1st it's common to make a big gathering and make a pig roast, which basically is barbecuing a whole pig (with his head and all). Usually, we eat it cold with an assortment of salads but is also eaten hot.
Sounds of the Season: Festive Music from Uruguay
We don´t have traditional Uruguayan songs for Christmas but there are two songs we must hear in this season:
Gifts and Gratitude: A Very Merry Christmas Giveaway
The Prize: Win the opportunity to choose any 10 products from our website.
Entry Details: To enter, simply leave a comment on any of the 6 blog posts in our series. Each comment on a different blog post counts as a separate entry so if you comment on all 6 blog posts, then you will have 6 entries.
Eligibility: This giveaway is open to participants from around the world, but you must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
Deadline: The entry deadline is December 26, 2023, at 23:59 CST.
Winner Selection & Notification: The lucky winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries and announced on our blog on December 29, 2023. If you're the lucky winner, please contact us at jen@pfstamps, and we'll guide you through the next steps to claim your prize.
¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo para todos!