Christmas is hard when your normal traditions are topsy turvy. When you sit and listen to kids in the neighborhood splashing in their pools. When you only have one strand of lights in your house, and they are on a single window outside because you don't have a real Christmas tree. It is not overly cool this time of year in Arizona, but at least it is cooler. Here it just gets hotter and hotter.
Christmas in the summer...
I didn't get out and shop this year. We bought everything online and a friend carried them down for us. So there are very few gifts that will sit under the tree-shaped ornament display we're calling a tree. That is due in part to the age of our kids. I know that. The big boy toys get smaller and more expensive. But little things, like stocking stuffers are not abundant. I've picked up a bag of real US chocolate here and there when I could find it. At $8.00USD a bag, I stings just a little, so I buy it in small doses.
Gift giving is what I do. Little treats for our friends, I love that about Christmas. I love the surprises and the build up to the big day. This year, all the planning and figuring out logistics has taken the fun out of it. I have taken for granted the ability to run to Target, Best Buy, or Hobby Lobby ---man, I miss Hobby Lobby!
Today was the Christmas program at church. They read the scripture account of the birth of Christ (I think - still no hablo espanol) with different musical numbers mixed in. My family sang Angels We Have Heard On High o Cantan Santos Angles. 2 verses in english, two in espanol. Greg actually sang with us! I wasn't nervous at all until we got to the spanish verses, then the nerves kicked in. Good thing we were up on the stand, or everyone could have seen my knees knocking!
Greg has several long, late meetings over the next few weeks. Apparently, Christmas isn't that big here. The week of Dies y Ocho, companies shut down for a week, but not at Christmas. Only Christmas Day and New Years Day. So much for spending time together.
We've found a great Mexican kitchen here and ordered food for Christmas Eve. 100 tamales (yes you read that right - 100!) and some other yummy things. Tamales at Christmas remind us of the holidays in Arizona. Besides, cooking a turkey in my tiny, unreliable oven, in our non-airconditioned house in the middle of summer - No. Thank. You. Greg was my hero and ordered food for us. I'll make a big batch of salsa and guacamole and we'll be set for days. The kids want frog-eye, which doesn't even make sense with Mexican, but we'll make up a batch anyway.
So we are attempting to make Christmas work here. The hot, summer weather, lack of Christmas Tree and our regular traditions can't stop us. It is Christmas! It's summer! And we're in Chile!
Feliz Navidad everyone!