Saturday, December 25, 2010
Christmas Eve with the Gonzales.
As informal as it can be.
The women cooking a delicious meal.
But exceptionally the dinner is not served in the kitchen but on the big table in what could be considered their salon.
Who wants, joins and eats.
One or two though go to sleep.
Some eat later.
Nobody is dressed up.
There is nothing alcoholic.
But by gosh, they do have a good time together.
They don’t have much money and they don’t live in wealth but they are warm and caring for each other.
More and more Gumaro is the head of the family.
At 61 years of age he is the oldest now.
And highly respected.
The children are helping as much as they can.
Making the table, serving the food, cleaning the table.
And not one adult has to ask them.
At the end of the dinner there are presents.
Although it’s hard to earn money and not much comes in, the children all do get presents.
For some reason, the daughter of Christina called after her grandmother Lucretia, gets proportionally a lot of presents.
She gets actually pampered and why is this?
The other children though seem to know because not one is showing envy.
The dinner over and the presents unwrapped, they sit down comfortably and Norma prepares a whiskey soda for her father, for her uncle and for her brother.
And soon that makes the conversation lively.
Especially because Gumaro, when he is in the mood and Christmas and whiskey helps in that matter, starts talking: he is a great story teller.
Stories from his childhood: how his mother secretly dressed up as the devil to scare her children out in the field not to play in a laguna for fear of drowning.
The story has been told on different occasions but still tears come from Gumaro’s eyes as it makes him still laugh from his heart.
And everybody around him laugh with him: not so much for the story anymore but for seeing Gumaro so happy again.
This is Christmas in optima forma.
People together in peace and harmony: happy and content with each other.