La Navidad

Heather Kurtz - Ecuador

January 25, 2012

When you think of Christmas what do you think?  For me Christmas is: snow and sledding, time with my family, and presents for everyone.  One thing I love about Christmas are the decorations:  the green and the red, the Christmas tree and my Grandmother’s Christmas village.  I love to decorate the house and put up the tree; it is a lot of work, but it is so much fun. Christmas day is stockings and presents, then a family meal with everyone. For me this is Christmas.

This year Christmas was a little different.

Picture this: Lush plants everywhere.  No snow or snowmen.  No Christmas tree to put presents under.  Few decorations.  The children receive bags of animal crackers, chocolate, and candy. (The animal crackers are for the animals in the manger.) No stockings hanging anywhere.  The Christmas songs are the same and play fairly often (but in Spanish); ironically, they sing of a white Christmas and reindeer and Santa! Christmas day was like any other day. My family arranged the house and did laundry.  My aunt and uncle came over, and we ate a bag of candy and crackers with them.  We all sat and watch Christmas movies all day.  At night there were parties because many children were baptized on Christmas.  I felt strange not having the family dinner or the presents.

The thing I learned is that Christmas is more than the presents.  The important thing is remembering what you are celebrating and who you are with.  I miss my family in the US, but I have one here to pass the holidays with.  I will never forget this green Christmas!

Heather Kurtz