Monday, January 13, 2014

Merry Christmas

by Josh B.
Merry Christmas
Josh and Erin posing next to a prop Christmas tree just after the Nativity play at Congregación San Lucas
It feels a bit strange to say those words – Merry Christmas – right now. Frankly, I am having a little trouble getting into the Christmas spirit. As I sit here typing this, sweat is dripping off my hands onto the keyboard. It isn’t supposed to be 95°F outside, it should be blisteringly cold and snowy, right?
Erin and I just finished watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but instead of doing so wrapped in blankets with the fireplace blazing, we had an industrial strength fan blowing in our faces. Again, where’s the snow?
We’ve replaced hot cocoa and egg nog for lemonade and iced tea.
Rather than trying to keep gusts of cold air from following us in from outside, we are fending off the waves of mosquitos that want in.
There are no relatives in town that I can get excited to see. I won’t be with my family this evening as they lay their stockings out near the Christmas tree. And I won’t be reverting to my 10 year old self yet again tomorrow morning as my sister and I shake our parents awake at 7:00am ready to see what “Santa” brought.
This is an altogether strange and unfamiliar Christmas.
Despite the unfamiliarity for me, this is how the people in Grand Bourg spend each Christmas. Tonight, Erin and I will spend Christmas Eve with a family from the congregation. We will talk, laugh, share about Christmas traditions, and eat empanadas while forgetting about the heat. Tomorrow, we will sweat our way through a viewing of A Christmas Story before enjoying a Christmas asado at the pastor’s home. We aren’t spending this Christmas season with our own families as we are used to doing, but we are spending it with those that we hold as family here in Argentina; with those that have invited us into their families this year.
With that in mind, I am feeling a bit more in the Christmas spirit and so I say to you,
Merry Christmas!

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