Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

It has been our tradition to eat a Guatemalan breakfast on Christmas Eve morning.  So this year we enjoyed black beans and eggs.  I spent the rest of the morning prep cooking for our Christmas day lunch. 

In the States we celebrate most on Christmas day.  Christmas Eve is the big day of celebration here in Guatemala. 

We drove into Chiquimula and had lunch at McDonald's.  We usually eat lunch somewhere on Christmas Eve that has a play land so Cruz can play.  I am sure we will be continuing this tradition for several more years and then maybe we can all eat a nice restaurant meal together when the boys get older.  It was fun though and we enjoyed it just as much as the boys.
David and Cruz eating lunch at McDonald's on Christmas Eve

Ben chewing on a French fry box

a little play time

We got home, took a nap, and then walked up the road to our neighbor's house.  They were hosting a party for all the kids in our neighborhood.  This is the same family that hosted the Independence Day party for all the kids.  It was a lot of fun! 
In addition to food, they had games, prizes, toys, balloons, and lots of candy for all the kids.  They are very generous!

They had face painting also.  Cruz got a Christmas tree painted on his cheek.

They did a scavenger hunt.  Here are all the kids "lining up" to get their prizes.

sack races are always fun

For one game two people had to put a balloon between them and try to pop it.  This was fun to watch.

They had three pinatas.  Cruz LOVES getting a turn to hit them.

They even let Ben have a turn.

My favorite part about Christmas Eve in Guatemala is eating tamales.  They are always so delicious!  I ate two at the party and then took another one home for later.  YUM!  We were also served a homemade hot chocolate drink that is popular here. 

I looked over at one point and David was feeding tamales to Ben.  I guess I can now add that to his list of new foods he has tried. 

 Look at him licking his lips, haha  He liked it!  There is not much he doesn't like to eat. 

It is also our Christmas Eve tradition to have a birthday cake to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  It was the first year for Cruz to sort of understand that.  When I told him we were having a birthday party he asked if we could have balloons.  I did hang some streamers and several balloons in the kitchen for him.  He loved it.  I tried teaching him the first half of John 3:16 this year -"For God so loved the world, He gave his only Son."  I used that as my teaching tool for the cake and party- and Christmas as a whole. 
our "Happy Birthday, Jesus" cake
I used red and green M&M's to make a heart to signify the love of God who sent His Son for us.

singing happy birthday and getting ready to blow out the candle

Before I cut it he grabbed an M&M off and ate it.  He's a funny boy!

When it got dark we returned to our neighbor's to shoot some fireworks.  Fireworks are HUGE here at Christmas.   
me and my sweet baby Ben- his first Christmas Eve

Cruz is a big fan of fireworks.  Here he is holding a sparkler.  He was literally laughing out loud.  I am not sure what was so funny, but it had him tickled.

me and my boys on Christmas Eve

We came home and put the kids to bed.   
Cruz sleeping on Christmas Eve night

Ben sleeping on Christmas Eve night

We finished getting their presents together and setting everything out.  Here in Guatemala everyone shoots fireworks at midnight on Christmas Eve.  It is VERY loud, but also very pretty.  We decided instead of going to bed for just a few short hours we would just stay up until the fireworks were over.  We enjoyed watching them, and could not believe that both boys slept through it all.   We wanted to wake Cruz up because I know he would have loved it, but we didn't want to take a chance on him not wanting to go back to sleep.  There will be plenty more years for him to enjoy the midnight celebration.

Here is everything set out and ready for Christmas morning.  Cruz had asked for a "red" present, some balloons, and dulces (Spanish for candy).  He got that and a whole lot more. 

We both got in the bed that night, tired, but full of excitement anticipating what the next day held!

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