Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I mentioned in a recent post that it can be hard to fully get into the Christmas spirit living in rural Paraguay, however, we have developed our own set of traditions over the years.  Here’s what we do:


We begin reading an Advent story at the beginning of December.

After reading, most nights we tried to sing Christmas carols.  We tend to move from Spiritual songs to the secular songs. After singing about sleigh rides and snowmen, we always end with Melekalikimaka because it seems appropriate to remember that Christmas can also be "warm and bright".

We look forward to our annual team meeting (I wrote about it here) up in the city which lasts several days.  We all love spending time with our SIM family. 
And we celebrate 2 December birthdays - Ryan and Ginny.

We decorate as much as we can.  As you can imagine from what I mentioned above, Christmas decor isn’t easy to come by, but I’ve collected a few things each year. 

Christmas crafts are often frustrating because a lot of times we cannot get the things we need in country or in our town, but sometimes we find just the right craft to do AND all the supplies.

Christmas baking is usually a 2 days process. Because it is too hot to have the oven on during the day, I bake what we’ve made at night. The following day the kids decorate the cookies or cupcakes, etc.



For dinner I try to come up with something different and special and something that doesn’t take three hours in the oven to make.  This year I broke out my raclette table grill.  Raclette is a traditional Swiss meal which includes breads and veggies and melted cheese.  Jeff and I did raclette tons back in the US and in the days before kids.  I brought the grill with me from the U.S. 7 years ago and have not used it once until now.  The kids thought it was great.   

We open stockings, watch a new movie from 10 to midnight and then at midnight we set off and listen to everyone else set off firecrackers.


We read the Christmas story then open gifts and begin helping build the new lego sets, playing new games, reading instructions and finding corresponding batteries.  Even the animals get gifts.

I try to have something a bit different for lunch. This year I found shrimp in the city. We love shrimp.

We watch The Nativity, finish our advent story and sing carols.

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