Authors Esmeralda Santiago (left) and Daisy Martinez teamed up to write and perform "La Parranda," an original Christmas story.
Each Christmas, All Things Considered presents an original story.
This year, two writers have teamed up. Esmeralda Santiago is the author of critically acclaimed memoirs, including When I Was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman.
Daisy Martinez is a writer, a chef and host of the TV show Daisy Cooks!.
Their story is called "La Parranda." Each Christmas season in Puerto Rico, families are visited by parrandas — groups of people singing and playing musical instruments, and gathering to surprise their friends and families at their homes.
It's the Puerto Rican version of caroling, with more eating and drinking, and is also known as an asalto — because at any time, the visitors can appear at the door to asaltar, or surprise, their target.
Families keep traditional foods warm on the stove — and invite the revelers inside to eat.
"La Parranda" is the story of two sisters, Gloria and Carmen. The older, Carmen, married and moved to the United States, leaving Gloria — still a teenager — behind in Puerto Rico.
Each Christmas, the sisters talk on the phone. The story begins in 1986, and is performed by its authors, Santiago and Martinez.