Day 65: Daily Boost readers’ favorite Costa Rican Christmases, part I

Today I’m sharing what I hope will be just the first round of some holiday reflections from a group of people who have really come to mean a lot to me over the past few months: Daily Boost readers.

Last night I fired up the random number generator and drew the winner for my “Costa Rica for Christmas” contest – @kasiaincr is the big winner, and I’ll be sending a box full of Costa Rican treats, stationery from Holalola, coffee from Santo Café and art from Alma Artesana to the address of her choosing! As part of the contest, participants received a bonus entry if they shared something about their favorite Costa Rican holiday memory. Here is a partial selection. What would YOU add to our list? I’d love to hear from you.

From Instagram user nirita93: “I am missing the Christmas tamales I enjoyed with my host family.” (Tamales were mentioned by a lot of readers – mmmmmmm.)

From erinkporter_: “My fave CR holiday memory is spending Christmas with my mom, dad and Aunt Diane in San Jose — at my aunt’s house. We went to an amazing holiday festival and I got to ride a horse for the first time!”

From steph_caste: “My favorite holiday is Christmas. I have three siblings and we have the tradition to go, all four, to choose the Christmas Tree for our home. There’s nothing better than the smell of the cypress tree around the house.”

From karla.delgadov: “El olor a café y tortillas en las mañanas.”

And from maryascholl: “Christmas 2002. A new-to-us farm, 3 kilometers from anything. No car. No furniture. No appliances except a rice cooker and an electric frying pan. No phone. No cell phone. 7 unexpected guests on Christmas Day. Joyful play in the river and the yummiest rice and scrambled egg meal ever! A Christmas I will always cherish.”

Thank you much for sharing these comments with me. What are others looking forward to or missing this Christmas! I’d love to hear from you. And congratulations, @kasiaincr, for your win!

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter). 

2 thoughts on “Day 65: Daily Boost readers’ favorite Costa Rican Christmases, part I

  1. OK. Great picture of the tamales de navidad. Brings back a wonderful (?) memory for my wife and I.
    We were teaching at an international school in Brasilito and friends from the states came to visit. We toured around the Pacific Coast and got to our destination, “Casa Bamboo” in the Osa. Beautiful spot. Awesome swim in the luminescent tides. Monkeys everywhere (5 different types!).
    Tamales de Navidad. OK. I know a little bit of Spanish, so I volunteered to go into Puerto Jimenez, with my friend who spoke no Spanish,to purchase tamales for our 2 families (8 people). I asked around town where to buy “los tamales”. Got the directions to a house down the street where they were being made in the home, as they always are.
    I don’t know exactly what I asked for, but thought I was asking for 2 dozen tamales. I wound up with 12 dozen!! We ate and ate as many as we could, and then finally gave what we couldn’t eat to the caretaker of the property and his family and friends. There was plenty for everyone.
    Christman eve we were all asleep snuggled in our ‘casa bamboo’ beds and the sounds of the Osa jungle surrounded us. All of a sudden, everything was quiet, eerily quiet. Seconds later we were hit by an earthquake. All ended well thanks to the construction of the ‘Casa bamboo’ shifting and moving with the earth. A Christmas eve that lives in the mind of all of us.
    Gotta love those tamales de navidad. Great photo from your blog brought back these memories of Navidad de Costa Rica (and oh, so many more fun memories). Gracias.
    Feliz Navidad Katherine
    Stephen (JumpStart 2015)


    1. Ahhhh…. dos versus doce, the nemesis of so many of us. To this day I always reconfirm, like, three times if a meeting is at 12 or 2. You must have looked like Santa Claus, struggling home wiht a sack of 12 dozen tamales on your back! What an amazing story… I would love to excerpt it in Part II of “readers’ Christmas memories”! All the best to you, Stephen!


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