Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hi everyone! I know it's a bit late, but I dont have consistant internet here (Budapest), so this is the earliest I've had a chance. I hope that you all had a nice Christmas!

Over here we went to a dinner on Christmas Eve with a very nice Hungarian family (which was interesting since only 3 out of the 10 of them spoke English). They have a bit of a different Christmas tradition here. Instead of Santa bringing the gifts, it's baby Jesus that delivers them on Christmas Eve. What they do is have the kids stay away from one room while the adults put up the tree, decorate it, and lay out the gifts, then a bell is rung and that it supposed to tell everyone that Jesus came and put out the gifts. At the house that we were at there was one girl that was 9 so they still went through it all, then we went in and the room was lit with only candles on the tree and they all stood around it and sung a Christmas carol in Hungarian. It was really awesome and a fun tradition to watch. Then the had a big table of food and it was kind of buffet style. There was pork and beef, then a cheese platter (no idea what kind of cheese it was), some home baked bread, a strange sweet onion and potato salad, some sort of salad that I think might have had fish of some sort in it, and this sauce that you're supposed to put on everything (which turned out to be a runny mayonaise). It was all fairly good, though very different. Then they brought out platters of sweets (they are HUGE on sweet things over here). It was all very nice.

The next morning we went over to Alice's house (Alice is a friend of Judy, Amanda's aunt. Christmas Eve had been spent at her in-law's house). At Alice's we exchanged gifts. They were all so nice and I ended up with a fair sized pile of gifts from all of these people that I've never met. I was blown away. Then we had a brunch of sorts with toast, crackers, caviar, crab, and a horseradish butter with champagne to drink. It was all sooo good. Then, in what I have found to be true Hungarian fashion, more platters of sweets were brought out. It was fun, but very low key and we just sat around and talked for a few hours. Probably the most exciting part of it all was that it snowed. The evening before there were flakes falling when we left to go to Christmas Eve dinner over in Buda (Budapest is actually divided by a river and once side is Buda and the other is Pest. Amanda's aunt lives in Pest, but all of the places we went for Christmas were in Buda). It stopped pretty fast, so when we got home that night there was no snow. In the morning there wasnt really much snow on the ground in Pest. There was a tiny bit on cars, but really not much at all. Then we crossed the bridge over into Buda and started going up the hill and all of the sudden there was snow all over. It wasnt think or anything, but there was snow!!! It was awesome. I have finally had a white Christmas!

Ok, Amanda and her aunt are home from the market so I'm going to give up the computer. Hope you're all well!!!


marbea said...

I just love to stop by and find that you have updated. Hearing about your wonderful Christmas makes it hurt less that you are not here.
A white Christmas, How Totally Awesome for our SoCal girl!
Love you sweetie, Can't wait to hear you are home safe in Cork

life in red shoes said...

I'm so glad that you got to see snow for Christmas. After reading about your menus, I wonder how such a picky girl is doing with such un-American fare?