Holiday Greetings from Venezuela

Feliz Navidad y  Prospera Año Nuevo

It is my ardent hope that each of you receive as much joy this Christmas as I am receiving. My vision is recovering a little  more each day. This, I am convinced, is in no small part due to the good words you all put in with El Señoir . With my computer set at 2X I am able to see the screen by putting my nose close to the touch pad and looking over the top of the bubble of gas that is inside of my eye. I can maintain focus for about ten minutes at a time. But every day I note improvement. I want to share with you how Christmas is celebrated in Venezuela.

Christmas in Venezuela

Today, the 24th, is the most important day of the Christmas season. It is called La Noche Buenam The Night of Goodness. Families begin to gather, generally at grandma’s house, at around 7:00 pm and the cokking begins. Although roast pork and chicken are almost always served as side dishes, the most important part of the meal is hallacas. Hallacas are made by first cooking a thick stew of pork and chicken Then a dough of precooked corn flour  is kneeded by hand until it is smooth and thick. This dough is then patted out thinly on banana leafs to cover an area about eight inches square. Two soup spoons of the stew are placed on the spread out dough along with a few raisens and a few plives. The banana leafs are then folded to form a rectangle of about three inches by seven inches. They are then tied with string and boiled for about thirty minutes.

The second most important food served on La Noche Buena is  Pande Jamon, ham bread. This made by rolling out a thin bread dough and covering it with thin slices of boiled ham along with raisens and olives. This is then roled into a loaf and cooked in the oven untilgolden brown.

Als, there will be Tejados. Tejados are made from platano, which is in the banana family. Platano are much larger than  bananas and not nearly as sweet. However, when the fruit is biled, it becomes more sweet and is served as a side dish like you might serve sweet potatos.

A Venezuelan fruit cke is also served called Torta Negra, or black cake.

Dinner is served at around 11:00 pm and only light snacking is permited until then so that everyone has a good appitite when the food is finally served.

Venezuelans enjoy American Christmas Charols but they have their own traditional Christmas music called Gaita. I have embedded an example below.

At mid-night gifts are exchanged but the fiesta continues to the wee hours of the morning.


Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all!


Categories: Uncategorized

36 thoughts on “Holiday Greetings from Venezuela

  1. First of all, it is good to hear from you. I am glad to hear that you are improving. Secondly, what time does dinner start? I am hungry from reading your description of the food. 🙂

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you continue to improve.

  2. Sounds Awesome, Jim. Hallacas sound like Central American tamales, which are nothing like the Mexican ones. The dough is made of corn meal and the rest is pretty much as you described it.

    I’m so glad to hear your vision is improving. I’ll continue praying for your complete recovery.

    Merry Christmas!

  3. Wonderful time Jim, I almost wish I was there. What is even more wonderful is to know that you are improving. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family my friend. So happy to hear from you! Loopy

  4. This is the best news today! You have been in my thoughts and prayers, and indeed looking forward to you getting back to full bore.

  5. Jim! You’re getting better!!!

    As a Spanish major, I do know all about the significance of “La Noche Buena,” including “La Flor de la Noche Buena.”

    Merry Christmas to you, Jim. Finding you back on the web is a Christmas present to me as far as I’m concerned.

  6. I’m so happy to hear you are getting better. I hope you had a blessed day Jim and look forward to when you are back in the swings of things. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers,

  7. Thank you SO MUCH for the update. Gonna keep praying for additional healing for your vision. Happy Christmas and New Year, and thanks for being more of an American patriot than most who actually live inside US borders.


  8. I hope you had a really wonderful Christmas, Jim. When I even think about writing, I think of you….so know I am looking forward to your good health and return to us next year sometime, whenever you are ready and healed. Sending lots of love and hugs to you!!!

  9. Great to hear the holidays were good for you Jim. Now that 2012 is upon us, we all look forward to your continued recovery. We need your voice for this election!

  10. Hope things are moving along. I see that someone comes over to my place from here most days, so I am hoping it is you!! Thinking of you friend.

  11. Jim: I wanted to contact you via email but I don’t see one available here. I hope you are making progress on regaining you vision. If so, let me know an email address and i will send you an ebook version of The Eagle Has Crashed in whatever format you would like. If not I am going to begin reading the novel in a series of podcasts starting this Sunday.

    If a family member reads this, please relay the information to Jim.

    My email is

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