We’ve been asked numerous times how we celebrate holidays. I thought I would give you a glimpse of how we celebrated Christmas.
The day after Thanksgiving we set up our Christmas tree. We were blessed our first Christmas here to be able to purchase a small artificial Christmas tree from a family who left Cameroon.
There is a bit of a tradition here within the mission community to have a Christmas cookie exchange. The person who normally hosts is on furlough, so I decided to host it this year. We had a fun time exchanging yummy cookies and playing fun games.
Christmas Eve we were invited for an evening of worship, food and fellowship. The power company obviously didn’t know there would be a gathering and cut the electricity for about 10+ hours. I felt bad for our hosts who had things planned that we couldn’t do because of lack of power, but the fun continued on using candles and flashlights.
Christmas Day, well the boys woke up extra early and we opened gifts. (I order the boys gifts in January to ensure we will receive them before Christmas. It’s a little difficult to try and predict what the boys will enjoy 11 months before. The gifts I ordered in January 2013, we received via sea freight in August 2013. I felt sorry for colleagues who ordered their Christmas gifts in July because that shipment won’t get here until February due to a delay in getting it sent out to sea).
At lunch we had a family over to celebrate together. Most of us bring food items with us for the holidays so we can have a taste of home. So we had quite the feast. Our friends brought a Christmas cake (which is a tradition in their family), a cranberry jello salad, stuffing, rolls and Christmas cookies. I made a green bean dish, gourmet potatoes, deviled eggs, apple pie bars and a turkey. We were very blessed that in August a French butcher shop opened and they had frozen imported turkeys. We were giddy! Several in the mission community bought his birds (for a crazy high price) so we could have a wonderful taste of home. In the late afternoon, early evening it was time to call family in the States – due to the six and seven hour time difference, we needed to wait until later in the day. As family in the States were preparing for their day of celebration, we had already completed our celebration. So that’s how we celebrated Christmas.