Thursday, December 5, 2013

Home Away From Home

(a much-belated post of a fabulous memory from last December!)

Despite my last post, living in Tanzania hasn't taken the Christmas spirit out of me. It's tried, don't get me wrong. Things feel weird, forced sometimes, and definitely don't fit with the culture (the ahead-of-time Christmas excitement and decorating and celebration, anyway), but I'm a-ok with playing Christmas music come post-Thanksgiving and decorating like I mean it.

Since my roommate left just before Thanksgiving, and my new friend Sarah is on her way soon, I felt like it was time to get into the Christmas spirit at my house - take down those few colored fabric leaves I bought at Meijer a couple years back from where they were sticky-tacked to the walls, and put up my fake tiny way-too-expensive bought-in-Dar tree. But somehow it's just not as fun to decorate and get into the spirit by yourself. So after hanging out with my adopted-family for Thanksgiving on Friday, then exchanging paper-snowflake-cutting-techniques with the kiddos as we decorated their house, I thought I'd have them over to help me do my own decorating.

I'm pretty sure everyone had fun.

There was homemade mulled apple cider, which is always a hit. (Especially when you learn not to add the citrus rinds - they don't taste the same here as in the States!)

Window-clings (from elementary fundraiser days) were a whole new adventure.

And when we were done, we went outside in our shorts and T-shirts and played BADminton (really, it was pretty bad - pretty sure twirling ruined me for any racket-based sport!), Frisbee, and even got out my batons for some fun. Apparently I can still do a high-toss illusion in Chacos in the dirt, in case anyone cares.

Because that's what we do to celebrate Christmas in Musoma.

So as I sit here in my jeans with two fans blowing on me, and music playing surreptitiously in the background egging on the season, I can't say it feels like Christmas. Not even with the lights blinking on the tree before me. But then again, Christmas isn't really a feeling, despite what the songs all say. It's about celebrating with family and friends, near and far, and the family God's given us where we are... celebrating an idea that never made sense to the world anyway. So I'll put up the tree, light up the windows with cracked Dollar-Tree battery-operated candles, and sing the songs. But more importantly, I'll make the choice. The choice to worship, even when the season isn't right, the weather is warm, and the biggest storms we get bring lightning and thunder instead of a blanket of white.

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