Christmas eve morning was a buzz of activity in the house . Angeles and Diego were expecting their extended family for a big meal and the opening of the presents which is traditionally done late on Christmas eve in Argentina . The assembly of the tree was kindly held off until that morning so the kids could put it up . I am not sure if Angeles wanted as much of the shredded tinsel on her tree as she got , but being such a perfect host she just let Elka put as much on as she wanted . The head gaucho Roque prepared a fantastic lunch. He crucified a whole lamb on a metal frame that was stuck in the ground and brought nearer the heat of an open fire with a type of hinge mechanism. Man, was it good. Crucified lamb at Christmas. The remainder of the day was spent horse riding on the ranch, fishing and relaxing by the pool in 33 degrees with a Vodka and Tonic to cool us down
We were joined for Christmas eve dinner, by both mother in laws (one of whom was now nicknamed Mama Noelle because of her late night visit to our room the night before )and some cousins from their ranch up the road . Things kicked off at about 10.30. They don’t bother cooking, everything is prepared earlier in the day and laid out in a sumptuous buffet and everybody brings along something. The lamb tasted as good cold as it had hot accompanied by the most succulent beef and glorious blood sausage. There were all sorts of vegetables and condiments and some lovely deserts. Such a change from the dry turkey, (sorry Margaret), lumpy gravy (not sorry Ian), mashed potatoes (never will like them Des) and mountains of love we are used to getting at the outlaws place. We continued on after dinner sitting outside having a few drinks looking at the brilliance of the stars and the firefly’s flitting about pretending they were shooting stars till late in the night.