Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Eve

As in most European countries, Christmas Eve in Hungary is a bigger deal than the following day. Is it all part of a sinister "War on Christmas?" waged by godless Europeans? Not really. They're just trying to catch up with Santa, who (like American states and their leapfrogging primary elections) gets a start on his work in Central Europe as early as December 5.

In any event, the festivities observed on Christmas Eve were sufficiently familiar for us to understand, yet offered enough variations to keep us thoroughly entertained.

Dean's nephew Denes and his wife Edina hosted the big family dinner at their new apartment in the Buda Hills. Here's Edina greeting Santa Miles as he arrives on the scene.

Denes and Edina's daughter Boglárka (Bogi) is just about six months younger than Miles, but already does a really good airplane.

Here's the historic meeting between the cousins.

Miles quickly made himself at home on the piano...

... while Denes and Dean (who conveniently--but occasionally confusingly--share the nickname "Dino") put together the Christmas tree.

Bogi and Miles continued to get to know each other.

Miles spread his holiday cheer...

... and enjoyed some time with his Aunt Eva.

Then it was time for the big event. All the children gathered in an adjacent room to wait... for what? We weren't sure either. Then finally we were summoned to march into the living room with the kids in tow.

Just then, Denes lit up the Christmas tree... with sparklers!

The kids were amazed by the spectacle.

Then it was time for presents...

... a ritual to which Miles needed no introduction.

The Little Drummer Boy.

Everyone enjoyed their gifts.

Including a few that were highly symbolic.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

Edina served up quite a feast.

Bogi had a good time at the meal.

And Miles enjoyed a few nibbles as well.

He took a bite out of a puzzle.

And then both kids were ready for a snooze.

After all, tomorrow's Christmas!

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