¡Una Navidad latina!
I grew up in Puerto Rico (a small Yank colony in the middle of the Caribbean Sea), and our traditions were a strange mixture of European customs brought in by the Spanish, African delicacies introduced by black slaves, and quick and cheap fare handed from the Americans.
However, emulsifying that heaping mess is a beautiful, purely Puertorrican flair and flavour, which is truly unique within its Caribbean peers. It's not an exaggeration to say that "Christmas Day" spans several weeks of holiday feasting and partying in Puerto Rico.
Needless to say, I left it all behind once I escaped my shackled roots and moved to the mainland USA.
So "traditionally" the missus and I prepare mainly a goose with various accoutrements, such as brandy-date sauce, calvados and sage sweet apples, and a healthy dose of dauphinois lovely confitted in the bird's golden drippings. Yum. I look forward every year to this feast, and ache for months once its over.
That is... until last year, when fate and circumstance brought me back to visit what remained of my family on the island. I was once again exposed to that wild and lovely melange of the typical Puertorrican Christmas feast. In memoriam of my recently deceased mother, I ended up roasting my own pork, with the siblings helping prepare all sorts of brilliant delicacies I've had not enjoyed (or appreciated) since my long gone youth.
So, that has sparked a brand new tradition in the DZ's household: we will roast a gorgeous piece of pork leg (we call it "pernil"), marinated and seasoned in traditional Puertorrican way, just like our grandparents used to do; to be accompanied with all sorts of mandatory dishes, like "arroz con gandules" (rice stewed with pigeon peas, sofrito, pork belly, etc.), root vegetables roasted in various fats, and traditional pies. And for dessert, my favourite: "tembleque," a cocoanut flan-like custard with cinnamon. :)
All that going down with all sorts of spirits, from the traditional rum, to fancy aged whiskeys and cognacs, ports and sherries (or Xerez, for the ibero-educated) -- plus our very own family recipe of "coquito," a traditional Puertorrican cocktail made with cocoanut milk, condensed milk, and lots and lots of rum!
Ahhh... Christmas... How I love thee. I am ready to start the weeks-long celebration. Gotta honour your roots, you know. ;)