Happy holidays!

There are many ways of wishing happy holidays to our loved ones and the world. So, I’m sorry to say that I have prepared nothing specially impressive. But I couldn’t let the season go without posting my wishes for the world to read.

For those who know that on many predominantly catholic countries January 6th (the three wise kings’ day) is the day to open your Christmas gifts, it may come as not surprising that we keep Christmas decorations up until that day.

Casa aOrta's Christmas tree

Christmas tree made with wool string, brances from the farm, leftovers of cloth, plaster, string, and some store bought ornaments.

Casa aOrta's nativity

Casa aOrta’s nativity with the portuguese traditional clay figures.

And on that same day, we should eat pomegranates (saved since October – that’s when their picked) to ensure we’ll have food everyday for that year. I have no idea, though, where that superstition comes from. My guests haven’t eaten most of them, so it’ll be a dark pink feast of yummy pomegranates in a few days. Hopefully, the superstition works and that will mean a “year of plenty” 🙂

I also prepared an advent calendar – as I did last year – but since last year the cookies were not crunchy and tasty by the end of the advent period (I wrapped them only in paper – rookie mistake), I decided to take a different direction this year. Before I show you my advent calendar for this Christmas, allow me to explain that this is not a Portuguese tradition and I had never done it before – it is my second time now. So, this time, I put dried figs stuffed with almond, cinnamon and fennel seeds in little plastic boxes. Stuffed dried figs is a very traditional thing in Algarve and I prepared them with my grandmother – and my father gave me some that he had prepared already. This is how it looked:

Casa aOrta's advent calendar

Casa aOrta’s advent calendar. Dried figs stuffed with almonds, cinnamon and fennel seeds

dried figs before stuffing

Dried figs before stuffing

This is what I came up with to wish you happy holidays! Wish you loads of fun over Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

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