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My Christmas - Hugo

Christmas, for me is the best time of the year. It’s when you get presents, when all of your family comes to your house and when you eat a lot, from cakes to chocolates until you get like 3kg heavier. At Christmas, my family and I go to church at 6a.m for the “Missa do Parto”. We go to at least 2 or 3 of those and it is really exhausting to hear the priest celebrating the mess at 6a.m!! But actually I enjoy going to mass in the morning because it is an event that happens only once a year and it’s a totally different thing that you can do. On Christmas Eve before I go to church at night I eat some codfish and sometimes some octopus. After that I go to church at ten o’clock to get a seat. It’s a very beautiful mass the most beautiful of the year but it’s really boring to stay seated for 3 hours. After mass I go home and that’s when it gets really good. When I arrive home I eat some Caldo Verde, open some presents and my family does the great tradition of our Christmas - my grandmother bakes a really great cake to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. After that long night I go to mass in the morning of the 25th of December. After mass I have lunch at my grandma’s. We usually eat a really delicious turkey and I simply love it. Well that’s my Christmas, it’s not that different from other people but it’s a nice time of the year where there is only laughter and happiness.

My Christmas – Laura Silva

My Christmas is simple, on the first days of December, I help my mother make clean the house and then we decorate it. On the 23rd of December and my mother often go to the street market at night . On the 24th we call my sisters and we all have a “salada russa” at lunch. After lunch we watch a movie, play games, talk and basically just wait for midnight so we can open the presents and then we usually go to Funchal to see the Christmas decorations on the streets and take pictures of the whole family On new year’s eve we have cod for dinner and later we go outside to watch the fireworks after which it is customary to have chicken soupAnd so this is my Christmas full of love and joy.

In Madeira, the party starts early, as early as the 16th of December, with masses of labor, celebrated every dawn to morning Mass on 23, or Mass of chicken. It is a tradition that comes from far away, and neither cold nor winter rain mornings keep away the faithful of novenas. The way to the church people drink hot coffee with a "whiff" of grog or brandy with honey to ward off the cold and sleep. Some add a few drops of orange juice to make the voice more crystalline, joining the songs that enliven the celebrations. After Mass, people gather in the churchyard in mild prattle, eating scones with honey before another day of work. In C창mara de Lobos and Camacha, the philharmonic bands roam the streets with castanets, the drums, the goatlings or accordions, agree that the most sleepers. The entire month of December is devoted to the preparations of Christmas: the decorations are made with flowers typical of the time - the goatlings and Holly make up the lapinhas, or cribs. But popular imagination gives rise to a variety of frames, with shepherds cottages and figures, which also represent scenes from the life of Madeira. At Midnight Mass cars still represent Christmas and the pilgrimages of the shepherds. When the Mass is over, everyone goes home to collect the comforting warmth of chicken soup. At lunch on Christmas Day, we traditionally eat meat with wine garlic, roast pork and turkey.

Laura Henriques

My Christmas - Aires

My Christmas is spent with my family in my home. At Christmas my meal is chicken and soup. I do not usually decorate my house for Christmas because my mother thinks it’s a lot of work to celebrate one day. My mother usually gives me a lot of gifts.

My Christmas – Mariana Andrade

My Christmas is very simple, it is spent with my parents, with my brother, nephews and the rest of my family members. On Christmas Eve my mother and I cook a great lunch for the whole family, after lunch we play and talk and later go to my mom's cafe for a coffee and a digestive drink. On Christmas day my mom makes dinner, then she gets the presents and we open them all together, we also do a sort of gift exchange. I love to spend Christmas with my family when we are all together I feel we are one family, united and happy, in

normal days we hardly see one another, so when we do see each other it’s a big party

MY Christmas - Paula

My Christmas is usually spent at home. We all get together at my grandfather’s. Each brings a typical holiday dish. After dinner we play and talk about the year that has passed and the good things that have happened. At midnight we all go to the living room to open the presents, and play a game called Secret Friend. We are all very happy with the gifts. On new year’s eve we gather in the house and then immediately go to a beautiful place to watch the fireworks. At midnight you have to eat 12 raisins, to ask for 12 wishes for the next year. When the fireworks are over we hug everyone in my family, and even strangers wishing them all a happy new year.

Then we go out to party and celebrate with friends and some family. And this is how I spend my holiday season, one of the best in my opinion.

My Christmas - Pedro

Christmas for me is not only the 25th, but all that time to prepare for that day. In my house we begin to make preparations on Dec. 8. Starting with the Christmas tree that is very beautiful. It takes us a long time to decorate and takes more than 120 balls.

Then my mom likes to deep clean the house, so I have to do it for 2 days. As my family is Catholic we usually go the "masses of labor" which is a custom of Madeira. For nine days I have to wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning. But

it is cool and I like to go. Then on the 24th I go to "Mass of the Rooster" then when I get home I open my gifts. After the 25th, I always go to Santana to visit my father’s side of the family. I don’t like to go because it's too cold there, but one day with my cousins goes by quickly and soon I'm home again. I get enough money from my uncles, which already pays to spend a cold day there. :P And this is my amazing Christmas! My Christmas – Valéria

My Christmas is spectacular. I usually spend Christmas with my three sisters, my two in-laws, my mother and my two nephews. On Christmas Eve, my mother cooks dinner for the whole family and it’s always great fun. We laugh, play, talk, etc... My mother usually makes soup for the first course, then she makes roast beef and pudding for dessert usually egg pudding or velvet. But this Christmas there will be less people with us because my sister, my brother-in-law and my nephew went to France this year and they will not come here to spend Christmas. I'm sure it will not be the same thing, but we'll turn on the web and talk to them. In other years, while we waited for midnight we used to do karaoke, play cards, bingo, domino and whoever won was entitled to eat a chocolate. When it was midnight, as my nephews are small, Santa Claus would come and leave the presents and then we started to distribute them.

My Christmas - Dax

I celebrate Christmas at some places, sometimes i celebrate it at home with my family, and sometimes I go out and go for dinner or I go to the church of “Missa Do Galo”. When I celebrate it at home, I open the presents at midnight, and after I go out for a walk or something… And when I go out for dinner I usually go with my family and we go to Caniçal to a restaurant that is usually opened at Christmas midnight and I eat turkey. But 3 years ago I went to the “Missa Do Galo” with my family. I think it’s kind of boring. And that’s how I celebrate Christmas.

My Christmas – J.J.

Christmas back home? I have no idea how it is. By that time I’m already in Porto. From what my mom tells me, christmas seems better at Porto, the whole family is reunited and everyone has such a good time. We have such a big party, which I take part in the organization. It always happens at Grandpa’s, because grandma likes to decorate the house and cook dinner and no one argue’s with grandma. JJ (me), as the oldest of his generation, has the job of choosing the best places to hide the presents, the order which they shall be given and taking care of the others from his generation, so that grandpa , uncle Miguel and uncle Paulo have time to move the presents to the livingroom. Then aunt Susan, which has the strongest voice, starts saying to whom are the presents to. Last year was hilarious, because grandpa had no originality with the present chosing so everyone got underwear from him.

My youngest cousin, Rita, got a Brainy Smurfette teddy, because, she is a girl and she’s like our conscience so girl + conscience = Brainy smurfette. In short christmas is just a big party. Here in Madeira my mom and aunt Magda stay alone at christmas so they do nothing but sleep.


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