On the 24th, Lenira and Paulo left to meet their family at the beach south of Porto Alegre. We were on our own to celebrate our Christmas in Gramado. Besides the bright lights and cheerful store front decorations, the area around Gramado and Canela has attractions for young and old alike. It is full of things to do. [I recommend that if you make this trip you rent a car - we didn't we hired a taxi for the day... cost as much as a car and gas for 3 days but we didn't have to drive unfamiliar roads, some of them dirt - for the most part there is quite a lot of distance between things and if you want to go slow, not within a time frame, driving is best] There is the teleferico in the Parque do Caracol that takes you up, circles the platform and as you head down it feels like you are soaring out over the forest.
In Gramado, there was Santa's workshop and home. You can see where the elves sleep during high season, where Santa reads all the letters he receives, and even tour his wine cellar. There are several places to buy "the best chocolate in the world". You can visit the antique car museum - one of the best I have ever visited - and a museum of the history of the steam engine with miniature working steam engines showing all the ways man has used steam since the late 1880s. And finally, there is a camp grounds and an open cable car in the Parque da Cachoreira, that I took one look at and said, "that is for young people - no way!" In the end even Santa needed a few hours in the hammock to rest and recover from the holidays.