And a Feliz Navidad to all!
Updated: May 31, 2020
Christmas for us this year, looked a little different than normal. My dad has been having some health problems, so I made a last minute trip home to see my family. Because Dec 24 and 25 are cheap days to fly during the holidays, we celebrated our Christmas a few days early so I could leave on the morning of the 24th.
It was strange leaving and not being here for Christmas for the first time in over a decade. But Isabel, Andres and a few others from our church helped make sure that the supper we serve at the childrens' home, Mision Timoteo, took place, as well as our Bolivian Christmas supper at midnight on the 24th for the guys. Andres and Isabel put together a great New Year's Eve party for the guys and a number of our church family and people hung out at our apartment until nearly 4 AM. All in all, I would call the holidays a success.
Our Canadian Christmas took place on the 22nd. Once again, I cooked our multiple turkeys with all the trimmings. Isabel was in charge of our table decorations and made everything look extra special. The guys and Isabel's family joined us for supper and then we opened gifts afterwards.
A couple of years ago, we started a secret gift exchange. We wanted the guys to learn to give and not just receive. It's been encouraging to see how they've embraced it. It's also all kinds of entertaining to me. Each guy gets the gift he bought....announces who it's for...gives it to the recipient...they hug (awkwardly) and then pose for a picture together. No lie, it's my favourite part of our Christmas celebration.
Last year Isabel surprised me, and had the guys buy me gifts. Up until then, it was just me giving a lot of gifts and not receiving any...which was fine to be honest, but it did drive my mom nuts that I didn't have anything to open (she's a big gift giver).
So it was a fun surprise when a big box of gifts showed up, all decorated with the Grinch Who Stole Christmas cartoons (the Grinsh is my favourite Christmas special). There were a few....somewhat random gifts, mind you. I think some of the guys thought more about what they might like, rather than what Ken might like. This year though, they did awesome! There were a lot more "Ken" (ie. Star Wars/Avengers themed) gifts that made me happy. I didn't even have to fake smile at all this year. =)
Each year we read the Christmas story in Luke and take time to talk about what it means for us. I've always loved the fact that God used the simple and common to reveal such a profound gift to us. In a world that values and lifts up the rich and famous, I think that often those from more humble beginnings feel less valued. God took those dynamics and turned them completely around. That's a profound truth for our guys to understand. No matter how their lives began, God will take that and make it beautiful.
Thanks to all of you who gave a little extra to help make our Christmas celebrations joyful! We appreciate and love you all! May you all experience the joy and peace and blessings of God in the coming year!