Celebrating holidays abroad is a mixed bag. I love experiencing new things and being with new friends, but I miss my family and friends desperately.
Wow, that was a trip down memory lane and I can’t even pick all the pictures of friends that are missed……bunny trail….so any way…No snow! BUT we are building new relationships and finding new people to feast with and new people to play games with. Doesn’t mean others have been replaced, but life would be really lonely without our new friends! Over the past 4 years we have learned to embrace celebrating together in different ways. This is our first year in the Philippines and I find myself reminiscing about times with our Nigerien Family. New foods, traditions and lots of fun and laughs.
This holiday season has been no different. We started out by celebrating Thanksgiving at the Viking Restaurant with some new friends. They are American too and understand the need to get together. This restaurant had turkey but it had about EVERYTHING else too. Never been serenaded during my TG meal either!!
It is weird, you are happy and sad all at the same time. Some days my heart just aches wanting to smell the brisk PA air and then other times I am playing tennis and swimming and feel like I am on summer vacation.
So celebrating Christmas in a warm/ hot climate is different to say the least. So many things that I associate with the season have to do with tons of baking, bundling up, taking cookies to neighbors, sledding, caroling and of course lots of family and friends to see. We did some of that but had to settle for skype calls, sweating while baking, hearing carolers under the hot sun (loved the visitors but the hot sun part is something I am having to get used to) and looking at the many twinkling lights minus the snow.
We did add some new favorites though…gift giving in the mountains,
a big get together with the youth featuring Italian cuisine. My heart was full. I cooked all day. We ate, laughed, played Mafia.
We laid low for Christmas day and did not make it out of our house or our pajamas. I love having Leron home from work and the kids off school. I pray that we can fully embrace where we are and what we are doing right now. I did not send a Christmas Greeting this year. I need to do that and will soon. Probably be a New Year’s Greeting? So many people I love and am far away from but feeling loved and blessed here as well. This was just a snap shot of the past couple of weeks. January is fast approaching and we are heading into 2014 full speed……I am so excited and FULL of anticipation!