Leer en Español
Christmas in Chile
Well if you’re wondering what Christmas in Chile is like, I can tell you that it’s hot. Since Christmas is in December its summer here. Have you ever been to the beach on Christmas Eve? I have, it’s fun.
Christmas in Chile is like anywhere else, it’s a family holiday, so families get together to spend it. The difference is that they get together on the 24th of December (Christmas Eve) and have an
(a barbeque). After everyone has eaten, a lot of people go off to church and listen to the night mass; others will stay at home and wait until midnight. At twelve everyone opens their presents.
Some families hire a Santa Clause or have someone dress up as Santa, to come and hand out the gifts for the little children. The poor guys usually sweat a lot since it’s very hot and the Santa suits are made out of warm material. Once all the presents are open the children will go to bed and the grown up stay and visit a bit more. On the 25th the families get together and have another asado and usually spend all the day together. Some go to the beaches to enjoy the day in the sun with their families.
The Christmas drink in Chile is called Cola de Mono which means monkeys tail. It’s made with agua ardiente and coffee. It’s very good and definitely worth trying if you get the chance, but don’t drink a lot cause you’ll feel the alcohol kick in quickly.
Just recently people are starting to decorate their houses with lights on the roof and the boarders of the houses. There are areas where the houses compete every year to see who decorates their house the nicest and the electric company will give the winner a prize. The stores and malls also have started to give more importance to the decorations at Christmas time, they never used to. In fact up until a couple of years ago Christmas in Chile almost was just another holiday with no decorations, just a Christmas tree, and people where relaxed and they used to like it.
In my opinion Christmas isn’t what it used to be here. People would give each other home made gifts such as cookies and jams. The families would get together to make these and hand them out to their friends. They would also get together to decorate the Christmas tree with decorations they made themselves.
Nowadays everyone gets stressed out during Christmas here. It’s all about the presents so nobody gets in a Christmassy mood. In fact a lot of people hate Christmas time because they get so stressed out.
This is because most people leave all the Christmas shopping for the 23 and 24th of December. So everyone is running around hectic to get their gifts and there are huge line-ups at the stores, there isn’t very much variety of things to buy, the people at the store get stressed because they have to work double for all the people that are stressed out and they finish all stressed out.
Christmas in Chile it isn’t like this for everyone since there are a lot of people that are really poor and are happy if they have something on the table to eat. It’s kind of like Scrooges Christmas story but it’s not a tale here. It’s very sad.
But every year the post office receives letters from these poor kids that write to Santa. Some of them ask for food that they can eat on Christmas night, others ask for next years school supplies and others ask for toys. So what some people who can afford extra gifts do is they go to the post office and choose a letter and buy them the gifts they ask for. Then they can either drop them off at the post office or take them to the children house and give the presents themselves.
In my opinion this is a better thing to do then to blow off all your money on things that you don’t really need and neither do others. I’ve done this for a couple of years now and it feels really good to see the little kids happy with their small present. I really can’t describe the feeling of watching this little person open a present and the gratification of their parents. This is what makes Christmas in Chile really special, to be able to understand how lucky we are to be able to have food everyday and not need clothes.
I definitely recommend you try spending a Christmas in Chile and taking the time to do this, you won’t regret it. Just a word of advice, be careful with some letters since there are some sneaky people that write a letters trying to pass as little poor kids.
Return from Christmas in Chile to Chile Tourism