Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

Our Christmas Eve morning began with our tradition of eating French toast.  Afterwards we all got dressed and we drove north to Santa Elena.  We ate lunch at Pizza Hut and then did a little walking around in the strip mall next to it.  We let Cruz play on the playground and ride several of the coin rides they have there.   He loves to ride these rides and since they are inexpensive we always let him ride several times. 

  He loves the motions, the lights, the sounds, and especially pushing all of the buttons.

Cruz and I sitting in Santa's chair at the mall.

We returned home mid-afternoon and I did some early cooking for our Christmas day lunch.  We have been exchanging food all week with our neighbors.  They are so kind to us!   We have received a lot of good food.  A tradition here on Christmas Eve is to eat tamales and we got several of them delivered to our house.  I was looking forward to it because tamales are one of the things I have craved with this pregnancy.  I enjoyed eating some before we headed next door to have supper with our landlord and his family. 
It might not look appealing from this photo, but they are DELICIOUS!

A quick family photo before we walked next door.

me and my silly boy

For the second year in a row our landlord has invited us to eat with his family for Christmas Eve supper.  They always fix a delicious meal and we always enjoy the fellowship.  This year they had tamales, smoked turkey, a fruit and veggie salad, a jello salad, apples, and grapes (grapes are popular here for Christmas).  Many people drink ponche, a hot fruit drink similar to a cider, with their meal but we had Guatemalan hot chocolate.  It was good.  This is a photo of a few of us eating.  We gathered at our landlords restaurant that is next to us.

Cruz had a blast playing with all of the grandkids.  They seemed to enjoy him as well.  At one point they took him into the kitchen, wet his head, and fixed his hair like a shark.  They thought he was styling and loved it, haha.

Cruz with the kids

After eating and visiting for a while we returned home to get Cruz ready for bed.  We gave him his bath and put him in his pj's.  We then had our birthday cake for Jesus.  I have been baking cakes and taking them to our neighbors this week and almost every time we delivered one Cruz would cry because he wanted it.  I tried to explain to him that we would have one later but he is not old enough to understand.  When he realized that we were about to eat cake he was really excited. 
I fixed it on our celebration plate that we eat on for our birthdays.  I thought it would be good to keep the tradition even at Christmas.

Look at that sweet grin! 
This was his face as he listened to us sing "Happy Birthday".  He loves singing.

I took a few more photos of him in front of the tree before he headed to bed. 
I call this one his "I know I have been bad but PLEASE get me some presents" face. haha

and one final grin.

Another Guatemalan tradition is to shoot fireworks at midnight.  We were not sure if we wanted to wake Cruz up or not and decided to just let him sleep (and we were very glad the noise did not wake him).  We had planned to turn on our a/c in the bedroom to help drown out some of the noise (and because it has been warm)  but there was not enough power to run it.  Usually in our area things die down after dark but on Christmas Eve people are up until way after midnight.  With everyone using electricity we just did not have enough to run the air.  Instead we opened the windows and ran the fans.  It was VERY loud at midnight.  I got up and went outside to watch and loved every minute of it.  Cruz slept soundly.  Because of our windows being opened our house filled with smoke from all of the fireworks and that was not fun.  It is such an exciting time seeing and hearing all of them being shot at once.  It literally sounds like a warzone. 

Christmas Eve was a fun filled day.  We enjoyed some time together as a family and also enjoyed some time having fellowship with our neighbors.  We like being able to participate in some of the Guatemalan traditions as well as make family traditions of our own.

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