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12.23.2013

{real party} chocolatada party!

{Merry Christmas in Spanish}

A very popular Christmas tradition in my home country, Perú, is having "chocolate caliente" {hot chocolate} with panetón {a kind of fruit-cake} on Christmas Eve dinner at midnight. One curiosity though, it's Summer at that time of the year. So not sure why  but everyone likes to drink hot chocolate on that hot Summer night.

But "chocolate caliente" doesn't happen only on Christmas Eve. During the whole month of December, people like to host little gatherings to enjoy some hot chocolate and panetón and sometimes have a little gift exchange. They are called "chocolatadas", our Peruvian version of a hot cocoa party {it's also very common for institutions, business companies, or even individual people, to host these "chocolatadas" for kids of poor families that don't have access to nice dinners or gifts on Christmas. Kids are invited to sip hot chocolate and paneton and received a little gift}.

I want very much for my kids to experience my traditions, and since this Christmas we are not going to Perú, I wanted to host a little Chocolatada party and book exchange for G and some of his little friends from our Spanish playgroup.

My intention was to prepare a traditional Peruvian hot chocolate, but then decided to prepare an easier version. I used evaporated milk, regular milk, ghirardelli chocolate chips, cinnamon and a little vanilla escense. It was yummy!

{I set up a little hot chocolate bar table with some toppings and treats}


{Peruvian hot chocolate is served with no toppings, but I still wanted to offer a few. They make
for a pretty table, too!}
{some treats for the kids and moms}
{I got white mugs at the Dollar Store and decorated them with a gold sharpie. Easiest DIY project ever!}
{Paleo blueberries muffins. You can find the recipe here. Really yum!}
{but of course the main attraction was the Peruvian panetón, that my mom brought us from Lima}
{kids played}
{ran around}
{colored}
{climbed}
{and exchanged gifts. Each kid brought a wrapped book. We numbered each gift and then
wrote each number in a piece of paper, folded them and threw them into a little tin}
{then we had the kids pick one paper from the tin. Whatever number they got, that's the number
of the gift that corresponded to them}
{one of the little ones receiving his exchange gift}
{all of them wore Christmas pj's. Even the littlest of all!}
 {for a few minutes they calmed down and sat down to listen to a story. Just for a few minutes}

It was a lovely "reunión". It means a lot to me that my kids are able to experience some of my cultural traditions during the Holidays, and this wouldn't be possible without our amazing speaking-Spanish friends. We love you, guys!

Hope everyone a happy, joyful and peaceful Christmas!


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