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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas in Brasil, The Sequel.

Tomorrow we go back to Friburgo.  Today it is again cloudy and threatening heavy rain just like every other day this week, rainy season in full swing.  Today there will be another drive out to the Barra for a birthday / graduation party for the twins.  They are 18 today and have graduated from high school and are looking forward to their university studies. 
I was with Camillo in Houston when they were born.  Just at the beginning of our time together.  They are not my grandsons, they are Camillo’s but I was around at the time of their birth, have followed their first steps, first school days, first party as teenagers, now their first party as MEN.  In my heart, if not in theirs, I am their grandmother.
SAM_3286At this point I can take this post several different directions.  What it means to be a foreigner in a close nit family – which is likely to take me to very heights of ragging, expressing anger and frustrations, or I can talk about the related topic of being a grandmother in your heart but not in the eyes of the family – this is likely to take me back into my depression state, not a good place to start a new year or I could even start asking questions with no answers like can you be a part of a family that speaks a different language? 
Today I think something more nuetral is needed so I want to talk more about Christmas traditions in Brasil..... A couple days ago there was a post by Mallory Elise @ http://www.saltycod.blogspot.com/, she speaks eloquently about her feelings about the Brasilian's and their seeming lack of Christmas traditions.  I can't help but feel that this is a normal state, like America this country is made up with many nationalities, each bringing its traditions, merging and mixing until they have become a homogeneous, uninteresting mixture.    

OH dear I am out of Battery - I left my power pack in RIO - Drat double drat, i hate it when I do that.  Will finish this as soon as I can figure out what to do .....
I am now working from Camillo's desktop and direct from Blogspot - so forgive my spelling and my lack of photos.

I can only see the outward signs of Chrismas in Brasil.  My world, my neighborhood is of expats not of the average Brasilian family so I don't see the inside.  More and more Brasil seems Americanized: cartoon like caricatures of Santa riding on the hoods of cars, pasted on store window, and just this past two years costumed Santas listening to little children’s wishes and sitting for photos for sale to adoring parents.  Even while the rest of the world prepared for Christmas with elaborate celebrations, decorations and family gatherings, Christmas caroling on the streets, Brasil seems so sedate, waiting.   What does seem Brasilian is that in the store windows are not dresses and blouses in beautiful shades of red, satins of royal blue but complete windows and shops oufitted in white. 

The preparations here are not for Christmas but for New Years.  Now here is a celebration, a tradition that Brasilians throw themselves into 110%. Noise and confusion in the streets, fireworks thrown from car windows, men walking through the super market with a can of beer in their hands, small children dressed in costumes prancing about happily.  Between Christmas day and January first, the emotion in the air begins to build.  Bars along the streets are full of the young singing and swaying.  Brasilians love New Years Eve, and then following the first day in January the excitement continues to build, all their collective expectations raging -  CARNIVAL is merely weeks away.   Now this is Brasil. 


  1. Dear GingerV how touching to hear your story. I love to get to know my blogger pals better. I have never been in your situation and know from your words you are a strong, wise woman. Photos are beautiful. Looking forward to the rest of the story. New Year blessings to you and yours.

  2. Ginger, I know that border has to be a grand daughter or great in something, how cute are they in those outfits!

    I have been going through your posts, and met a girl from Houston last night who just flew back and said they had flooding rains. How awful is the weather in the south from season to season. I had warm weather in NJ, then to see my son in St. Louis and snow storms, then on to warm weather in our drive to TX, and back back to snow storms and rain. But still God has blessed us so with our lives.

    I wanted to come and say peace to you and Camillo today. Happy New Year, and I am glad I can follow such a beautiful person as you.

    Also hope your Christmas was a good one...xo

  3. Ginger, all the very best to you and Camillo for the New Year.

  4. it is so captivating and informative for me to read the traditions and day to day life of other countries.

    Happy New Year!!

  5. I am mesmerized by the sweet girl, everytime I come to you site, I pause.

    Happy New Year.

  6. Wishing you the best for the New Year!

  7. Ginger, I like what QMM posted in the comment section. I think you definitely must be a very strong and courageous woman. I'm not sure I would be able to handle it if I were in your shoes.

    YOur posts always hold my interest.

    Happy New Year to you.

  8. I always like to hear about how others celebrate their holidays,thanks for sharing. Have a great New Year!

  9. You bring up a heated topic of whether grandmotherhood is in the blood or in the heart. My own parents (because I was adopted) are not the biological grandparents of my children. My husbands parents are. I notice differences but it could be because I'm not very close to my parents.

    Hope you have a wonderful year and look forward to reading more of your posts (neutral and otherwise)

  10. Had top stop in and say Happy New Year. I hope you have a good one! Miss you. Email me one day. I tend to answer emails better than posts. I will try and do better in 2011, and perhaps do a FSO or two.

  11. When I lived in Brazil, I missed Christmas celebrations, but that was when I was still into the holidays and religion. I've pretty-much dropped both. I'm actually rather disgusted with the commercialism and greed around the holidays. My husband and I enjoyed this last Christmas, just the two of us, at home.

    I did enjoy the New Years celebration on the river in Aracaju. There was a tug boat from New Orleans in Aracaju working with Petrobras to put in an offshore oil rig. The guys were all Cajuns and liked to party. So I spent the day on their boat. It was so packed with people, I wonder that it didn't sink.

    I'm not much into partying now. In fact, being in Rio during Carnaval would be my worst nightmare. While in Brazil, I spent Carnaval one year in Salvador and one in Aracaju ---preferred the latter with a smaller, more subdued celebration.