Western Christmas isn’t celebrated as their Christmas is in early January (Christmas round 2 is coming for us!) We haven’t found a good Christmas groove away from our families and traditions. While talking to another cross cultural worker, she mentioned on hard days, do something entirely different instead of trying to recreate something you can’t.
This year, we had to be down in Addis in mid December for passport renewals and then at a conference in Southern Ethiopia on December 28th. In the middle, we decide to sandwich a Christmas different from what we have ever done.
We were joined by the Kruse family. They have lived overseas for twenty years and are a family living with the Gumuz, a few hours from our house. We’ve had chance to do life together and they’ve become like family. So we packed up and went to Langano, a lake a few hours south of Addis.
Praise God, it truly was a time of family, friends and thankful reflection over what God has done in sending His Son as a baby to earth.
The dads teach the kids defense in response to different animals.
Langano is teeming with wildlife (and is an area that needs our prayer, more on that in another post).
Exploring the beach
Tracking animals and playing tag
Early morning snuggles while the sun warms up the air around us.
Racing sticks down waterways into the lake.
Searching the brush for lost pet tortoises (who, we had almost given up for lost until the little girls prayed. During the middle of their prayer session, Daisy was found.)
The only boy was always up for someone to engage him in a mud/water fight
Cleaning fish fresh from the lake
The Kruse family taught us how to make fish and other meals over the fire
On Christmas Eve, Rolf and Jon got the house ready for Christmas. Rolf taught Jon how to sew in order to hang the stockings.
Decorating Christmas cookies
Christmas Eve, we moms pooled our goody boxes for any glow in the dark items we had as well as candy to stuff into stockings.
We caroled loudly under a bright moon, though there was only wildlife to hear.
Glow in the dark balloons, so fun!
Thankfully we had power on Christmas Eve, so we caroled to the empty beach house and pretended their was someone inside.
Delighted kids with stockings filled with candy and yarn and gifts of homemade wares.
Love her face, so excited about yarn. :)
The dads surprised everyone and arranged horse rides
Even Ang and I got to ride
making sand angels
Christmas had elements of past tradition with loads of things we had never before done over the holidays. We receive it as God’s abundant provision for us.