There are certainly differences in the practice of celebrating Christmas here in Nicaragua. We are learning to mix the old and the new, and still keep Jesus "in the manger." We'd like to share some aspects of our first Nica Christmas with you.
The kids found some beautiful elements of God's creation (red honeysuckle and peach hibiscus flowers) to lay before the King!!
Products and goods disappear quickly in the stores (we've been told to 'buy it when you see it'). Thus, we have had difficulty finding Christmas wrapping paper.
So, we are going "green" and using newspaper!
To prepare our hearts for Christmas, as a family we have been reading through the book One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham. It tells the story of God's plan for redemption from Creation to the Ressurrection. We use ornaments to symbolize some aspects of the story. Noah's Ark is one such symbol (the faithfulness of Noah). The boys worked on making an "ark" out of a natural resource found in our backyard.
The Coconut Ark
It is a tradition in our family (inherited from Bethany's family) to squeeze fresh orange juice for Christmas. Noah and I (Bethany) worked on this ahead of time (although we will squeeze some more on Christmas morning!) We used the oranges we received as "payment" from Jeff's first tropical surgery!
Following the advice of 'buy it when you see it', we did purchase a little Christmas tree for our family to use this year and for our future Christmases in Nicaragua! It is a cute little tree!
There is no doubt that God's creation exhibits His Glory. There are beautiful examples of that here in Nica...like the wild poinsettia plants growing in the yard.
It isn't always easy to embrace change, but God has provided some wonderful things to help us celebrate His Birthday in a new place. Merry Christmas to all!