As you all know, Christmas was banned in Cuba from 1969 until 1998, as Fidel Castro didn’t want any religious celebrations. Christmas was made a public holiday again in 1998 in honor of the Pope visiting the country. So it’s not necessarily something magical that takes us back to our childhood filled with beautiful memories about Santa and elves and leaving cookies next to the Christmas tree. There was no Christmas tree in Cuba, for that matter. Or Santa, or elves. The USA, on the other hand, takes Christmas to a whole new level: decorations everywhere, accompanied by beautiful carols that warms your heart and brings optimism to the surface.
Let’s take a look at Christmas from both perspectives…
Christmas Eve is all about families
You probably remember, during the time it was banned, some people still celebrated Christmas but only in a very quiet way. Now Christmas celebrations are much more widespread. It’s that time when families have their main meal and celebration together. From this perspective, things look a lot like in the US, where Christmas brings families together, no matter how far away from the nest their members may be.
Christmas smells like delicious food, both in Cuba and in the US
What do you prefer: Cuban dishes or mixing them with the one you got used to in the US? For Cubans, the traditional main dish is roast pork (some families like to roast a whole pig) normally served with fried plantains, rice and vegetables. Dessert is often rice pudding or sweet potato pudding. In the USA, traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham are also used. For dessert, pumpkin or apple pie, raisin pudding, Christmas pudding, or fruitcake are staples.
On Christmas, the USA goes a little bit crazy…
Thanks to its cultural diversity, there are many typical Christmas traditions in the United States. Many of them will sound familiar to you because you might have embraced them from the bottom of your heart. We know, it’s hard not to surrender to the Christmas magic… :)
Decoration and lights
Picking up a Christmas tree
Leaving cookies out for Santa
Oh, oh, the mistletoe
Oh, oh, the carols…
No matter what traditions are close to your heart, we wish you and your family a Christmas that’s merry and bright! We hope you have a safe and relaxing holiday season.