Nochebuena all about togetherness for West-Miami Dade family

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - For many across South Florida, Christmas Eve is Nochebuena, an occasion devoted to food, family and fun. One West Miami-Dade household showed 7News how to celebrate it to the fullest.

The holidays at the Morgado home would not be complete without Nochebuena dinner. “Every year we do this. It’s a tradition,” said Anely Morgado.

Anely Morgado
Anely Morgado

The reigning emotion throughout the night was joy. “The food is like — you’ve got to eat the food,” said reveler Nicole Paez.

Nicole Paez
Nicole Paez

At the center of it all was a pig that had been roasting for hours in a handmade box known as the “Caja China.”

But before the family sits down to enjoy the banquet, some of the youngest members showed 7News a festive — and wintry — Christmas display. “We get to help my grandma decorate it with the snow,” said Alexandra Morgado.

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And those pictures of Dad, aka Al Morgado, hanging on the walls are always good for an extra laugh. “Here is my dad trying to be cool, and that is my aunt,” said Alexandra.

Not to be upstaged, Al taught 7News a thing or two he learned from his own father, including how to make the perfect black beans.

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He also gave some pointers about the art of the roast. “We call it ‘pellejo,’ eating the crispy part of the skin,” he said.

Al Morgado
Al Morgado

Bringing the entire meal to fruition is a process, but it’s also one that holds so much meaning for each generation, even the youngest … like Alexandra, who showed plenty of potential to become a future 7News reporter.

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“Nowadays we have lost some traditions, and we’re all about what’s new and happening,” said Milly Morgado, “and we need to focus on where we come from and why we’re all here and spend time together

As good as the food is, said Anely, she’s pretty clear about what she values most this holiday season. “I think there are families that are not together, so I’m very blessed,” she said.

After dinner, family members faced off playing dominoes. Some of the youngest Morgados kept beating the 7News reporter.

The Morgados have gathered to celebrate Nochebuena for more than 40 years.

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