Friday, December 17, 2010

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas….

…In every way except for that little thing called snow, although it’s almost chilly enough for one to imagine it could snow (39ºF a few nights ago). The shops are all stocking fake Christmas trees, ornaments (all plastic here), kids toys, singing icicle lights, sticky window décor, rainbow colored garland, Ferrero Rocher chocolates (out of our price range), even candy canes, and have been since before Thanksgiving time (which they don’t celebrate here so Christmas starts even earlier than in the U.S.). All the grocery stores are decked out with big Christmas trees and have special promotions going on. We’re hoping that we have a good chance to win a new stove or large refrigerator with all the shopping we do at our favorite Mini-Super Esperanzano. We’ve even heard some Christmas music around, mostly Feliz Navidad and English songs.

We’ve gotten into the Christmas spirit at our house too. We bought a little fake tree which we decorated with some pine cones, bulbs, candy canes and two unique ornaments – one a bird from El Salvador, the other a Lenca pottery piece. It’s nicely complimented by a navideño colored pañeulo from one of my women’s groups. We hung some blinking lights around our window. I took it upon myself to embroider some stockings which are hung by the front door with care and full of small trinkets we bought for each other. I also decided to make some homemade wrapping paper out of charla paper I had lying around. We splurged on a huge pointsettia for the house, but I think it’s a little too cold here, the plant is already losing many of its red leaves. We’ve started playing our loop of about 75 Christmas songs non-stop, which in addition to the decoration makes the house feel much more Christmas-y.

Here the big night is Christmas Eve, Buena Noche, when people go the evening mass then stay up all night eating things like nacatamales (variant on a tamale) and gallina india (native hen) then set off fireworks at midnight. We bought some of our own fireworks to set off and already are planning our two-person feast. Deviled eggs, stuffed cabbage and fried potatoes for the eve (if I can find ground pork). Then eggs benedict with mimosas for Christmas breakfast followed by a roast turkey or chicken with all the trimmings, as well as some pumpkin spice cupcakes. Mouth-watering just thinking about it. Of course our fridge is not working at present so it’s all contingent on that being fixed soon.

It’s still been more than a little depressing to realize that this is the first Christmas that we’ll have away from any type of family. And our first snow-less Christmas also. We want you to know we’re thinking of you all this time of year, missing you a lot and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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