By Marília Sarkis, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – Santa Claus, Christmas tree, bells, balls, Christmas Carols, and a bit of that Holiday cheer, ’tis the season. At The American Society’s Holiday party, you could find almost all the charm and spirit of this special time of year, the most notable exception being the snow of course.
Last Saturday morning, at Ipanema Tower Hotel, many members and non-members woke up a little bit earlier then usual to celebrate.
It was initially planed from 2PM to 5PM in the afternoon. Although some concerns about it being in the middle of the day, lead the organization to change the plans.
So starting at 9AM, the party lasted until Noon and many families came with their children to celebrate Christmas and enjoy the last American Society event of 2009. About 160 people were present, including perhaps 25 very excited children.
Teenagers from the American and British school entertained the young ones, helping them decorate the Christmas tree and bake cookies. Santa Claus (called Papai Noel in Brazil) was there to hand out candy and take photos with the kids.
Meanwhile the adults were having fun, meeting some old and new friends, talking about past and future celebrations over sandwiches, pão de queijo, fruit salads and other breakfast treats.
The Holidays wouldn’t be complete with out Christmas Carols of course, and some of the American Society’s Board Members kicked off the singing, soon joined by the whole party. Donations of foods and toys were also received and given to Mello Mattos School and Toy for Toys.
Any American Society event is bound to have a raffle, and these tickets were being sold since the Society’s Happy Hour Plus, in October. There were more then a few anxious faces holding their breath for prizes including an American Airlines trip, an Amsterdam Sauer necklace and a Club Med weekend stay in any of their Brazil locations.
The American Society’s president, Lindsay Duval, finished the raffle draw and thanked all the members and sponsors for helping out this year. “This was a very good year for us, thanks for all your help and we look forward share more special moments in 2010.”
Founded in 1917, The American Society now has approximately 400 members and they help Americans and non-Americans who live in Rio to learn about Carioca’s lifestyle.
The society hosts several parties during the year so their members can enjoy some American holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Halloween here in Rio.
Some took the Holiday party as an opportunity to join as a new member, while others renewed their membership. For next year people can already plan on a Valentine’s Day party in February, and of course some Carnival events.
To find out more about The American Society go to: www.amsocrio.org.