Monday, December 26, 2011

Feliz Navidad

Some things I have learned about celebrating Christmas away from home:

1.  Christmas stockings don´t just appear on Christmas morning (although I have children who might think otherwise!)  This is the 1st Christmas in my entire life (and that is a long life!) that I have NOT had a Christmas stocking...more specifically MY Christmas stocking.  Next year I will fix that problem.

2.  Christmas miracles are real.  We were without natural gas since Monday, Dec 19 due to a break in the gas line.  The whole valley was without gas.  The showers were VERY cold and we could not use our stove which is gas.  That made preparing Christmas dinner a little tricky.  I would carry pots and ingredients to the office as there is a 2 burner electric stove top there.  I would prepare part of the food and carry it back home to finish.  The prediction was that the gas would be out until after the first of the year.  At 10am on Dec 24 the gas was turned back on...A Christmas Miracle.

3.  Some ingredients are worth paying 6 times the cost in the United States.  Having looked and asked everywhere for Karo Syrup, I was at the point of giving up when I walked into a small store and they were unloading bottles of Karo Syrup.  I want one of those!  And at 22 mil pesos a bottle it was worth the price (that is almost $12 a bottle!)  Now if I could just find canned would be worth the price, too!

4.  Some ingredients can not be substituted for in recipes.  Such as: creamed corn, real lemons, cool whip, and raspberries.  I tried...and I will not make those recipes again next year.

5.  The feeling of serving and helping someone else in need is just as sweet here as it was at home.

6. Silent Night has a different meaning here in Colombia.  There is actually nothing Silent about it.  The parties on Christmas Eve involve a lot of loud music, dancing, fireworks, gun powder explosions...all of this beginning at about midnight and going until about 4am! 

7.  Our Christmas traditions are important.  So very grateful that my children love their Christmas traditions and are carrying them on so well without us.  I missed some key traditions of my childhood...abelskivers and fry cakes.  Though I was never there with my ancestors when they made them, somehow once a year through these traditions I can feel the family chain stengthened. 

8.  Skyping with grandchildren is not the same as being there, but it was a miracle via skype to be right there in the same room with toys, wrapping paper, Christmas songs, and the excitement in their eyes.  Ever so grateful for the creator of skype!

all 5 of the Prince Kids together and talking to us on Skype!!

9.  There is NO such thing as vacation for Christmas on a mission.  The phone calls are even more abundant, missionaries still get sick, lives still are changed, the gospel still preached, baptisms still performed, hearts still need consoling, and someone has to do it.  Called to serve...

10.  Remembering Christ´s birth can be done any day, any time, any place, and with anyone.  Sharing this great gift with others is so important.  Feeling the love of our Savior through the words, hearts, and helping hands of others is achievable no matter where you live.  We all need to just find time to "be still...and know..." the Lord is never far away from us.  For this we Adore Him, call His name Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

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