Christmas is a beautiful time…anywhere, but we have been especially blessed by the new experiences of Christmas here in El Salvador. With many Salvadorans living in other countries, the airport and flights coming into the country are packed. Families, often very large, are reunited, towns have their celebrations, businesses, schools and government offices close down and the only thing bigger than the monument at Salvador Del Mundo, is the massive tree that goes up.
Here are some of the things that we have learned to celebrate differently here:
- Tamales are still a part of our Christmas celebration, but are wrapped in banana leaves instead of corn husks.
- Christmas Eve is THE day of celebration and a family dinner as close to midnight as possible is most common.
- Fireworks on Christmas Eve go strong for several hours until the whole city seems to be ablaze around midnight. (This will be repeated again for New Year’s Eve)
- The school year finishes between November and December and all students are on summer vacation (except for the unfortunate few on the U.S. school schedules here)
We, as missionaries, feel so blessed by the FMI yearly program to bless the missionaries on the field with a financial gifts sent from individuals and the U.S. churches, as well as our home church Hope Chapel in Huntington Beach, CA. Our second Christmas season here has been a rich and rewarding time for our family.
Again this year we were able to take a day trip with the crew from Angelus Templo, Santa Tecla out to Usulutan to be a blessing in some of the poorer areas where our churches are. (I will share more next week, but you can get a look at the video HERE)
Blessings on your week as you prepare to celebrate the birth of our King!!