Christmas morning was spent preparing for the afternoon gathering of about fifteen gringos, a Japanese woman, and one Tico. Mexican lasagna was assembled and baked, Alton Brown’s cheese dip was blended, and Spitzbuben cookie bars were cut into squares after cooling from being baked the night before. After cleaning the kitchen and myself it was time to pack things, including two Dirty Santa gifts, so that they could be hauled up the numerous stone steps to Tom’s and Linda’s house. Note to self: don’t buy large bags of rice and beans along with a large container of sea salt when having to haul them thus.

The road from here to there is rocky and rutted; even patchwork cement tracks up the steepest hill are jolting. Bill drove as slowly as he could, but there is only so much one can do. Trying to keep a hot lasagna dish from sliding about made the trek more entertaining. Fortunately, Tom met us just as we were making our way up the trail to his house so he carried the lasagna the rest of the way while I went back for the last load which included the presents……

Linda and Tom had decorated the tables and porch with their artistic talents.As guests arrived over a period of time we enjoyed cheese spread in Scoops, guacamole and chips, trout dip spread on bread, wine, and homemade eggnog to be spiked to one’s liking.An uninvited pizote provided a few chuckles. Then it was time to enjoy the buffet!!!  With bellies full it was time for cookies!!!!

With dusk rapidly descending we gathered inside by the fire for a rousing game of Dirty Santa.  Natsu went first and actually had the most fun opening presents as people kept stealing hers! Linda’s small paintings were popular as were the mini containers of Canadian maple syrup. Luckily, Bill ended up with one. My gift was a bottle of Rompope, a local version of alcoholic eggnog.

A festive celebration with wonderful friends in a cloud forest…..who could ask for a better present?