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10 Things Every Portuguese Wants for Christmas

Portugal Student Work
by Sandra Guedes Dec 17, 2015

1. A Christmas without talking about the crisis

Let’s pack the word in a box, put the box on a little dingy and hope that when the boat is halfway across the ocean, it finds a home next to a shipwreck — never to be found again.

2. Subsídio de Natal

Only because the magic numbers for the lotaria de Natal might be hard to guess. We know money does not make us happy. Nor will buying a bigger TV make us happy. But seeing as the owners of the local grocery shops and the employees of Continente do not allow us to pay for bacalhau with smiles, we like to receive it a few days before the Consoada. But if the Menino Jesus gets it a bit delayed with all the bureaucracy, he can leave it in an envelope in our sapatinho.

3. An expat to come back home

With millions living and working abroad, we all want a father, a son, a daughter or even our favourite cousin to return home for Christmas instead of just tagging them on social media with a #saudadestuas. We may turn on Skype and eat at the same time, but it’s still not the same. How can we fight with them if they are not here?

4. Ir para fora, cá dentro

We don’t all ask to go abroad, to see the Great Wall of China, hike to Machu Picchu or dive in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean — although those are all welcome experiences too. If a friend or relative just invites us to a place where we can eat well, have a delicious drink and feel welcomed — somewhere like home — we always appreciate it. We just want to go somewhere we can play with snow like Serra da Estrela, or go for a weekend in Algarve, or just meet up with a friend and his boat in the Douro so we can pretend we are on a cruise.

5. An inspiring candidate to the presidency

We’re not sure if we’ve been unlucky with our politicians or if we’ve just been making the wrong choices. Anyway, the past is the past, and all we want now is to get out of this “politician crisis.” So can we please find someone inspiring with true leadership skills? Who knows what they are doing and doesn’t screw “Zé” anymore? Let’s face it, we’ll need to vote soon and we just haven’t met him — or her — yet.

6. Good health

Just as we toast, “À nossa saúde.” It’s not because we don’t want to spend the holidays keeping company with the nice doctors and nurses in the hospitals who will not be able to go home, but because hospitals don’t have fireplaces for our sapatinhos.

7. Enough cod to feed 20 million people

It’s a classic, it comes from the cold freezing north Atlantic, and we all intend on eating twice as much as we normally do.

8. A forgotten monument

A castle, a palace, a convent, anything that has been left aside and forgotten like the Cinema Rosa Damasceno in Santarém. We are all a bit embarrassed by watching amazing bits of our history waiting to fall apart. If the government doesn’t fix them or doesn’t have the money to fix them, we understand. They could just hand it over to a loving national company with creative solutions, a luso descendant interested in investing in Portugal, or a talented Portuguese with the know-how to restore them and to make them sustainable. There are plenty of us Portuguese writing, “Dear Santa Claus, Menino Jesus keeps failing to deliver a politician who can organize a contest to see who has the best innovative and creative ideas to turn the ruins of our history into pearls again. Can you give him a hand?”

9. A free gym membership to work out the trillions of calories digested during the quadra natalícia.

With the amount of sugar and carbs we are going to eat in the next few weeks, we would be happy to receive anything that could make us burn all those calories throughout the spring. This way, we will make our doctors happy, and make sure we have a body worth showing off in the summer.

10. A light-hearted Boas Festas message

To remind us that there is nowhere else we’d rather be.

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