Our first Christmas in New York

Hello dear blog readers!

I wanted to write earlier, but then I got sick ... :-( Colds are not a very enjoyable thing, but seem to come with the season.

But now you get the chance to read about our Christmas celebrations in New York. As I already said in the last blog post, Daniel was able to take half a day off work and so we were able to skype with our families in Portugal and Germany in the afternoon. What a blessing to have skype to stay connected!

We celebrated Christmas Eve with the Delgado family. The Delgado's are family from friends from Daniel's parents. They live a 20 minute car ride away from us in Long Island. I think the parents came around 25 years ago to the US.

Here you see their house with many Christmas lights:

My highlight was the living room decoration! For me that felt "really American" with the decorated tree, the nativity scene and even a train around the Christmas tree that played "We wish you a Merry Christmas". (That's how I know it from the American movies and it was exciting to see it in real life!)

The mantle was so pretty with all the personalized stockings on it! *love*

I recognized that I am not having a group picture of everybody together... I think it was just too busy, because with Daniel and I we were 11 grown ups and 7 children. The Delgado family, their daughters with partners and grand children, plus uncle and aunt, cousins and second cousins.

But I was able to take food pictures (I love to take food pictures! Just in case you didn't yet get that ;-). We had a traditional Portugese fish soup (cod fish, green cabbage and pieces of bread).

Daniel and I were sitting at the grown up table and I think Daniel had a blast! He talked the whole time Portugese, had a nice red wine, his beloved cod fish and rich olive oil. When he had his first bite he said that it tastes like home. I also enjoyed the meal, although the taste doesn't create the same home-feeling in me (German Christmas food would be goose, potatoe dumplings and red cabbage).

We had also those smalldough pockets filled with meat or shrimp (also Portuguese - rissois).

And there was even more!

Pork ribs, suckling pig (leitao), rice, sweet potatoe casserole, beets, brisket... The ladies had done a lot of cooking and we felt so blessed to be invited!

After dinner there was a longer break and the 5 year old grandson made a little magic show. Later we could sit in the kitchen and talk with Mr. Delgado and his brother in law about their start in the US and how they feel about living here after more than 20 years.

And then we had dessert. Not just dessert, but DESSERT! A whole table filled with different sweets and all were home made. It was so much that I couldn't even try each of them, but all that I tried were delicious (yes, another skip of Weight Watchers points that evening! ;-).

In the meantime the living room got filled miraculously with presents and even somebody dressed as Santa Claus ran around the house and got the kids super excited. Some of the family members changed their fancy clothes into comfy pj's and the present exchange started. There were really a lot of presents and the number one presents for girls are still in the Disney's Frozen department! (I am still astonished how popular this movie and the soundtrack still is!)

Even Daniel and I got presents! (which by the way wasn't neccesary at all dearest Delgado family!) We got non stick pans (awesome for doing Weight Watchers dishes, because you need less oil) and bowls (I loooove bowls! And I think you can never have enough bowls in your kitchen). We also got chocolates from the younger daugther Cecilia and even more chocolates from Daniel's family from Portugal (Thank you so much)!

And then the BIG EVENT happened! Cecilia's boyfriend Joe proposed to her in front of everybody! And she said "YES". :-) Isn't that incredibly cool?! That was THE highlight and it felt super special for us to share this important moment with the Delgado family. Also R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to Joe who had the courage to propose in front of the whole family and two strangers!

We staid longer then 11pm and then we got a ride back home. But not empty handed in the food department! All those things Mrs. Delgado gave to us! So we didn't have to cook at the 25th and 26th! That was fantastic! (Thank you for your generosity and the wonderful food!)

On the way back home we passed this house and for me it's my number one of Christmas decoration this year! Above all the giant snow globe on the left hand - with even falling snow in the inside! Those Americans... ;-)

At the 25th Daniel had off work and we could relax during the day. In the evening we were invited to the Park family. They are the pastors from the church I'm going to. Compared to the 24th we were less people and the kids were already older and could play by themselves. So we were able to sit with the grown ups and talk all together.

Here as well we had tons of food and I want to thank Michelle for standing in the kitchen for hours to prepare it for us! I assumed it would be Korean food, but we had American cuisine:

BBQ ribs, salmon (surf and turf), mashed potatoes, corn, cornbread, curry rice, rice with beans, brussels sprouts with bacon, green beans. It was super delicious and Daniel ate and ate. I was still so full from the day before that I just ate what you see on the picture below.

For dessert Michelle and the girls had made cupcakes. I just had a tiny one - because of room shortage in my stomach.

There was so much food left, that we got two big tupperware containers to take with us. So we had food for even more days!

At the 26th Daniel had to go back for work, but on Saturday the 27th we went to Manhattan to look at the big Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center. You might know the tree and the area from the movie "Home alone 2". At the end of the movie Kevin goes to that tree and his mom finds him there.

There was a gigantic crowd of people and we just were able to move forward in little steps.

But eventually we reached a good view- and picture-taking-point and could take this selfie with the tree.

That's how it looks without our faces. The golden statue, the big tree over it and the ice rink below it.

Assumingly the tree looks gorgeous at night with all the lights, but we couldn't see that. By the time it got dark we were already at Times Square where we took our train back home.

We really had a wonderful Christmas. For me it was from zero to one hundred, because I was with so many people in such a short amount of time and usually I am all day by myself (just church on Sunday or shopping in between). So I didn't feel lonely at all during Christmas which was very nice.

But after all this busyness we got sick... hm... maybe it was a little crazy to do this sightseeing day on Saturday... but we really wanted to see the tree. And we are glad that we could see it and also to be in the city and get to know it better.

Daniel feels already better again. I am still coughing a lot with feeling weak, but no more sightseeing for us for the next week(s).

Many greetings and Happy New Year!

Kati

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