Our stomachs are full, the turkey has been eaten, temperatures are dropping, and stores have slashed prices for their killer sales. You know what that means? The holiday season is officially upon us! (Let's pretend for a second that we haven’t been playing Christmas music since before Halloween). A lot of you might be thinking about jetting off to some traditional and maybe not-so-traditional holiday vacations. Others might just be staying home, enjoying the family time as you gather around the Christmas tree. But if you’re looking for a new place to spend the holidays this year, look no further. Puerto Rico’s the place to be for Christmas break, and I can give you five easy reasons to think about to get you through these last three weeks of class.
1. Snow schmow!
Let's start with the obvious. Who needs a white Christmas? Puerto Rico’s 85-degree weather guarantees a warm and toasty seaside holiday for anyone who’s tired of the freezing temperatures in the States. Drop the hot cocoa and grab your sunglasses for the best tropical Christmas you’ll find in the U.S. If you need me, I’ll be sitting by the beach laughing at the snowstorm pictures on my Facebook feed.
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2. The food
The food. The. FOOD. You will never be more grateful for a Christmas holiday than when you spend Christmas in Puerto Rico. Forget about turkey, goose and pfeffernusse!
Arroz con gandules, pernil, morcillas, pasteles...it's a never ending list. It's never Christmas without at least a half dozen pasteles on my table!
And pitorro! Our version of moonshine, brought out especially for the holidays. The best are those homemade by locals in old rum bottles, but word to the wise: a little goes a long way.
COQUITO. COQUITO. COQUITO? COQUITO!
This deserves a whole number to itself, my favorite part of the holidays! (Can you tell?). It's essentially our version of eggnog, but so much better. So much better. Some people make different flavors like pistachio, nutella, and almond, but you can't ever go wrong with the classic coconut.
Yes, that translates directly to "assault." No, that doesn't mean there is any type of assault involved. For our Christmas parties, we break out our instruments and do parrandas where we play traditional Puerto Rican Christmas songs. For asaltos, we pack up our instruments and head to the nearest friend or relative's house and wake them up with the loudest and best music of the holidays.
5. The never-ending holidays
The absolute best part of the holidays in Puerto Rico? They're literally the longest holidays in existence (okay, probably not). We break out the Christmas music as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes have been washed and go on well into the end of January thanks to Three Kings Day and Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, our two excuses in January to keep on the celebrations while the rest of the U.S goes back to work. A two month holiday for the best Christmas you'll ever spend!