Honduras Christmas Traditions at Our Little Roses
Christmas is always a joyous and warm celebration at Our Little Roses! During this time, we incorporate Honduras Christmas traditions along with US traditions to bring our girls an exciting and memorable Christmas. Keep reading to learn more about how families in Honduras celebrate and how we make this holiday special for the girls here at Our Little Roses!
A Look into Honduras Christmas Traditions
The foods eaten during Christmastime are some of the most traditional aspects of the holiday season in Honduras. From Christmas Eve to Three Kings Day, you’ll find a variety of fruits like apples and grapes on the dinner table. A traditional Christmas dinner includes an unlimited supply of nacatamales – a large corn tamale wrapped in banana leaves, steamed, and filled with meat and chopped vegetables seasoned to perfection.
Honduran family members spend Christmas Eve (also known as Noche Buena) preparing and cooking the nacatamales so that they are ready to be eaten later that evening. Delicious foods aside, many other traditions take place around Christmas in Honduras.
The perfect holiday gift for a Honduran girl is a new pair of shoes and a dress. These clothing items are a significant Christmas present for any girl in Honduras, and to receive that gift would be like a dream come true for them. For boys, they look forward to getting a new pair of pants and a shirt.
After exchanging gifts with family and friends and partaking in libations, we celebrate the Christ Child’s birth with a roaring sound of fireworks and firecrackers that begin blasting around 11:30 PM through midnight. Then, at midnight it’s time to eat the main Christmas meal, tamales. The next day (Christmas Day) is typically for relaxing, where kids play with their toys while adults catch up on getting some needed rest.
What Traditions Take Place at Our Little Roses During the Christmas Season?
Instead of waiting until December to get into the festive spirit of Christmas, the girls at Our Little Roses get together to begin making handmade Christmas cards for sponsors, friends, and family in early November. While it is a labor of love, working on the Christmas cards is a fun, creative activity that instills the value of gratitude.
In Honduras, schools are on a break from November through January, so the girls get to enjoy a two-month break from their educational responsibilities and have the opportunity to spend these months having fun, playing, and getting into the holiday spirit!
Rather than reading textbooks and writing essays, the OLR girls get to replace homework with Christmas movies and festive activities. Plus, High school graduation happens in early December, which is another celebration for everyone! One of the most exciting parts of the Christmas season for the girls at Our Little Roses is spending a few days between celebrations at Our Lady of the Roses Retreat Center and a beach trip.
While this year, the annual trips to the Retreat Center and the beach are on hold due to the destruction caused by back-to-back hurricanes (Eta and Iota) and the worldwide pandemic, the girls have decided to take on a few home improvement projects instead! Throughout their 2020 break, they have decided to spend time taking on some artistic renovations like painting the halls and decorating the Home. Some of the girls even participated in creating (both scriptwriting and acting!) their very own Christmas play!
We don’t wait until Christmas Eve to start the holiday festivities, though! On the eve of Advent Season, the altar guild helps the chaplain decorate the Advent Wreath and change the Church hangings to match the liturgical season. The Our Little Roses choir, led by Father Gustavo Galiano, always visits the hospital or nursing homes to sing carols for the patients and the elderly. It’s a special moment that the girls look forward to, as they get to do something that brings the joy of Christmas to others.
Everyone takes part in the Home’s decorations, including setting up the nativity scene, Christmas tree, and lights. The girls even have a competition for who has the most originally-decorated room!
Like traditions across the country, Our Little Roses begins the big Christmas celebrations on the eve of Christmas Day. On the morning of December 24th, the smells and delicious aromas from the kitchen fill the hallways as we prepare the delicious Christmas dinner.
One of our most favorite Christmas Eve meals is none other than tamales. We cook an abundance of chicken and pork tamales, followed by a Christmas Eve turkey. After the Midnight Mass (which is celebrated earlier in the evening because the girls can’t stay awake too late), everyone at Our Little Roses gets together to enjoy the delicious meals that hours of labor in the kitchen produced.
This year, we have an extra special surprise planned after dinner. Once everyone finishes the Christmas meal of turkey and sides, a professional pastry chef will prepare a mouthwatering dessert that is sure to put a smile on everybody’s faces! Following dinner and dessert is the moment that all the girls love.
That moment is none other than a visit from Santa Claus. Though it’s a 32-year-long tradition at Our Little Roses, last year Santa sent Mrs. Claus and her elves with presents and Christmas cheer to spread joy and take pictures that will last a lifetime for the girls at OLR. From then on, the girls and the staff at Our Little Roses dance the night away in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Help the Girls at OLR Have a Wonderful Christmas This Year!
There are many ways to get involved this Christmas season. You can donate to Our Little Roses, sign up to sponsor a girl at OLR, volunteer your time with the Our Little Roses Miami team, or even send your own Christmas card or letter to the girls!
One of our most popular options is to sign up to donate to OLR! You always have the opportunity to either make a one-time donation or make ongoing contributions. Every contribution makes a difference, and we are incredibly grateful for any help that you can provide, whatever amount it may be.
The holidays are an excellent time to reflect on our blessings and all that we have. If you have the means to help the girls at OLR through a sponsorship or donation, just know that you’re not only making a difference in each girl’s life – you are making an impact on the community!
Sponsorships look a little different this year because of the pandemic, but we are doing our absolute best to accommodate the situation and keep our sponsors in touch with the girls at OLR. For more information about how you can become a sponsor today, we encourage you to read more about what it’s like to transform a girl’s life at Our Little Roses!