Inspired by his own childhood experiences, a professional storyteller offers a mouthwatering view of a Christmas Eve celebration in Miami's Little Havana and the preparations leading up to it. Young Nina's happy to be visiting her abuela for the holiday and meeting her father's side of the family, but she can't imagine Christmas without snow and her familiar cousins up north.
Three days in the kitchen with the women and carrying big jars of marinade to the men outside where the pig is roasting changes her outlook as does being sent to pick baskets full of limes, lemons, avocados, and mangoes from nearby trees; joining crowds of relatives and neighbors around tables groaning with food; hugging everyone in church at the midnight Misa del Gallo; then dancing beneath the stars until the sun rises on Christmas Day.
Nina is visiting her grandmother in Miami for Christmas. Usually she spends it in snowy New England with her mother and her family, but this year is different. She isn't certain what to make of a hot and humid holiday, until she learns the traditions of her father's side of the family from her Cuban grandmother. She helps prepare for the evening and takes part in all their traditions--the intricate cooking for the feast, the dancing, the music, and the gathering of relatives and neighbors. It all comes together for a Noche Buena that Nina will never forget.
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