Wild Zora is located in the middle of quaint, cozy downtown Loveland, CO. Right outside of our front door on 4th street, the trees are glowing with twinkly lights and people are wandering through their favorite foodie spots and artsy boutiques. The snow-capped Rocky Mountains are the perfect backdrop for our town’s buzz of holiday cheer and local beer.
Our family here at Wild Zora is celebrating with a tall tree, a gift exchange and festive escape room party. We also wanted to celebrate with all of you by sharing some of our staff’s favorite Christmas stories from around the world.
Christmas in Czech: We're Ready to Kill Him!
SANTA: Ježíšek CHRISTMAS TREE: vánoční stromeček PRESENTS: dárky
Zora’s Christmas memories from Czech revolve around, well, a gigantic fish. Traditional Christmas dinner consists of fried carp, potato salad and fish head soup. The week before the big, fishy feast, her family would go to the local market and choose the best looking live carp they could find. With the fish hanging in nothing more than a net, they would trek home on the public bus in order to get their prized pet into the bathtub. The next few days Zora’s mom was on edge, sending her into the bathroom to check on and feed it.
When the 24th finally came, Zora’s mom would sit them down and explain that “the fish is ready to give its life for us, he told me he’s ready to be killed”. Their eyes grew wide as her Dad would smack the carp over the head with the rolling pin, take off its scales, drop the head in a stock pot and filet it up. Zora helped to wash and dry the scales, and then snuck them under each family members plate for good fortune. While they filled their bellies, their neighbor snuck in dressed as Santa and piled up presents for them under the tree. Every year was a slightly traumatic, magical day to remember.
Christmas in Thailand: Lalita's Soap Opera
SANTA: ซานตา CHRISTMAS TREE: ต้นคริสต์มาส PRESENTS: ของขวัญ
Growing up in Thailand, Lalita’s favorite part of Christmas was the party at school. From Kindergarten to sixth grade, they had a big celebration and received a gift from one other student. Every year when the tree went up at school she anticipated what she might get: a pretty doll or a fun toy. No matter what, she knew it would be great.
In her sixth grade year, the last of these cherished school Christmas parties, her gift was placed on her desk. Bursting with excitement, she opened it and found herself face to face with a bottle of soap. Lalita immediately burst into tears. Soap!? That’s what she had waited all year for? When she arrived home and her mother asked her what she had been given, she burst into a new round of tears. Even their yummy Christmas dinner couldn’t console her. Thankfully, now it makes her laugh for poor little Lalita.
Mexican Christmas: Will You Make it Through the Night?
SANTA: Santa CHRISTMAS TREE: árbol de Navidad PRESENTS: regalos
Lorenzo grew up in California, and he remembers warm Christmas nights trying to stay up late enough to rip into his presents. His family celebrated on the 24th, where they gathered at his Aunt’s house with his cousins. They spent the day cooking tamales, rice and a corn and cabbage potato salad. They ate their feast in the evening, but there were still hours of waiting before anyone could open gifts. The youngest cousins would start drifting off into stubborn, food induced sleep, but Lorenzo refused.
The artificial Christmas tree was adorned with a big silver tinsel star and handmade macaroni ornaments made by Lorenzo, his three brothers and sister. It was also surrounded by a handful of presents that they examined skeptically. Right before midnight, the adults shuffled all the kids out of the living room while Santa snuck in and piled many more gifts under the tree. If you were lucky enough to stay awake until then, this was it! They tore through their presents until late into the night and fell asleep in a joyful stupor. When they woke up, they would take their new toys and play all day in the California sunshine.
We hope that you have a wonderful, memorable Christmas and we can't wait to hear about your adventures in 2019. Thank you for the love and support this year.
Love, Zora and the Wild Zora Family