Guess what! In Peru, people celebrate Christmas too! – Amanda
This year’s Christmas I would say has been, well I’m sitting here looking at those words and I have a million words that could fit. Here’s a few: shut-up, stretching, blessed, numb, unifying, sad, happy, exhausting, relaxing. I definitely missed the high-strung element of Christmas that most of you in the States suffered through. Sorry!
I think there were a lot of things that went through my head this Christmas. Sometimes I was confused that I wasn’t as upset that I was so far from home for Christmas. Other times I was frustrated with my partner for not being more excited about Christmas. On Christmas day I felt disconnected with him and he went to a church service in the evening… I was upset. But, I was happy to be with people that I love and got to spend such an important day with them.
This year I thought a lot about Mary and what she must have went through. Sometimes, I don’t like that it seems that the originality of thought is gone from biblical stories. It feels cliché to talk about what Mary must have been thinking, and I absolutely despise the song “Mary Did You Know?” Sorry, all you folks out there that idolize this song… it’s actually a song I could do without the rest of my life. But, in the story of Christ’s birth represented in Luke 2:19 that Mary stored up the things the Shepherds told her, about the angels and what they said. It just had to of been wild being her. These people were real humans. I think that something we forget about often. They were not majestic people, but ordinary and simple. They had thoughts and feelings and it had to of been a complicated mess of emotions and thoughts that Mary was filtering through. And yet she was faithful.
Because we did not have snow and all the things Christmas staples that make Christmas-time feel like Christmas-time, we had to put a real effort forward to get ourselves in the mood. One could call it, Christmas foreplay. I decided to take my lunch money and buy some felt to make everyone who would be here for Christmas a Christmas stocking. It took about a week to make everyone’s stocking, but it really helped me get into Christmas.
On Christmas Eve we had a partaaaaaay! Amanda and I baked all day long and even the day before we were working until late at night to make all our awesome cookies. So, on Christmas Eve we all got together and had communion, then read the Christmas story. After that it was a free-for-all to the spread.
Then after we were all done eating, we played a few games. First, we played Bing-o. There were prizes to be won! We played like you play the White Elephant. Prizes could be stolen. Franci ended up with a soap case and a wash cloth, Joel got notebooks, Allison got chapstick, Ella got a pen, and I got a keychain! Then we played a game Sixto suggested. His games are always interesting. I’ve written three attempts to explain the game and it’s just not worth the trouble. The gist is you pass two rags around the circle and you have to untie and retie knots in them and if you are caught with the two rags in your lap, you are out. If you are out, then you get a punishment. Lindy was a statue and had to let us put him in whatever possition we put him in, Franci had to chug a glass of soda, Joel had to put on lipstick, Vincent had to do push-ups, Gladys had to walk like a duck, and Geremias had to hop like a bunny.
We had fun fun fun fun! Later, Garren put on his Christmas pajamas he had gotten from home and joined the kids in their new pajamas. Then, the kids put out some cookies and milk for Santa Claus. Thomas had to have chocolate milk in his cup for Santa.
On Christmas Day we were all supposed to get together at 7:30 am to open presents, but it’s apparently not as exciting for the Peruvians to wake up really early in the morning just to open presents. So, we ended up opening presents closer to 9:00. Chad and Amanda had setup a pretty sweet presentation for us.
We all got a blanket, toothbrush, razor, 2011 agenda, Choko cookies, and some candy.
And Chad and Amanda got these stellar hats.
Then, we crashed and I skyped with my parents! There was really nothing I could do for them for Christmas, sending wise, it’s even more expensive sending from here to the States, at least it seems to be so. This is what I decided to do for my family.
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! And I hope everyone has a Happy New Year! We officially are moving to Puno the 5th of January! Please pray that all of our things arrive in Puno safely!