I wish I could invite you all, but I can't. This year we're not hosting this event at our house.
We agreed that my nephew's home is more spacious and will accommodate the 40+ people who will be attending.
This doesn't mean I'm off the hook, though.
As you can see, I still do invitations and along with the rest of "The Committee," (yes, we're totally mocking the communists here) decorate and coordinate food and the exchange of gifts. We decided that there are too many of us any more to get individual gifts, so each person brings something really nice for the gift exchange and we have a sort of lottery. Ironically, most of us get gifts for each other anyway. =D
One of the very best things about my family is we have finally figured out how to coordinate our strengths for everyone's benefit. We work well together for the enjoyment of all.
The party itself involves dressing up and a cocktail hour with appetizers. There will be live entertainment - usually one or two of the cousins will play their guitars and organize a sing along. Of course, there is our video (which Amy & Lucy have been feverishly working on). I swear to you, there is truly never a dull moment.
The menu will include Lechon Asado, arroz blanco, frijoles negros, and yuca con mojo. Those are the staples of the meal. There will be turrones, of course. And my mom will make her famous flan. This year we've added a Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. Yep. To die for!
I know it might sound a little over the top. And I guess it is. But remember, we are Cuban exiles. We lost so much that we are genuinely grateful for what we have. We love abundance. I say this with more than a little bit of pride. We truly celebrate. We have survived and weathered so much as a family, as a people group. We are aware of the hand of God in our lives and are anxious to give thanks.
And undoubtedly, when we clink our glasses to toast, one of us will say:
"El año que viene estamos en Cuba."
"Next year we'll be in Cuba."