Today, you'll be treated to an inside view of a Dominican Republic Christmas from my friend Vicki who lives, ministers and homeschools in that beautiful country.
Christmas decorations on homes and businesses adorn the Dominican Republic as early as September! Sparkling and colorful mesh is found on almost every Christmas tree. Beautiful bows are made with the mesh and it’s also used on trees like garland.
December in the Dominican Republic
December is a special month. There is some type of celebration every day of the month! Companies have Christmas parties. Families have dinners. Neighbors decorate their neighborhoods and have parties in the streets. Companies are required by law to pay their staff double each December, allowing families to enjoy their Christmas dinners.
The Dominican Christmas Eve
Families come together from all over the country to celebrate on December 24. Family members that live in other countries come home for the December 24 celebration. It is very hard to find a car to rent or an inexpensive flight during that time because so many people travel to the Dominican Republic for Christmas. The telephone circuits are flooded that day with phone calls from family that could not make it home for Christmas.
The Christmas Pig Tradition
At the dinner, you will find an entire pig that was roasted outside all night! Pigs are sold on the streets all over the country during the Christmas season! Baked Turkey, Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas), rice mixed with corn, a mixed salad with potatoes and beets, apples, grapes, egg salad and lots of gum drops fill the table.There is also great tasting homemade eggnog, flavored wine drinks, ginger tea and fruit cocktail punch with lots and lots of fruit.
Some families share gifts that day, but gifts are not the focus of the holiday.
Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Dominicans understand that whether they serve Him or not. It is also a special time to celebrate the gift of family, and to treasure one another as memories are made.
I’ll never forget the Christmas when family came to stay with us on our mountain home. We had a bonfire and wrapped ourselves in blankets as we sat around the fire and told stories and jokes. We drank hot chocolate, ginger tea and eggnog. We roasted marshmallows and made s'mores with graham crackers and chocolate candy.
After our dinner, we stayed up all night laughing and making memories. It was one of my best Christmases.
Dominican Christmas Memories
Memories stay with us, gifts are used, then thrown away! We have chosen to give great memories for Christmas. We want to give memories that help us to grow and to mature into all of what we ought to be in this world. Christmas is the perfect time for that kind of gift!
Though December is the time for parties, meals and family, January 6 is Kings Day where children leave hay under their beds for camels and expect to receive a gift from one of the Kings that visited Jesus when He was a child.
It is a fun day for the children. They usually receive a small gift, but they are happy and grateful.
As Christmas decorations go up all over the Dominican Republic and families share their roasted pig, the good news of Jesus Christ is being resounded through the country every year.
Christmas Blessing Giveaway 2017 has ended
Vicki Dominguez is the Assistant Director of HOPE Dominican Republic where she helps to plant churches and provide services for at risk children. She is also a minister’s wife and homeschool mom to her eight children. You can get a glimpse of her life at www.vickidominguez.com