December 27, 2010

Last *sniff* Christmas in Chile

Officially, our contract ended in October. But, we wanted to stay on longer so we could finish out the pastoral year, accompany the kids during their Confirmation and spend our last Christmas here with the community. We're anxious to see our family, but we just weren't ready to say goodbye in October. So, here are some photos of our last holiday here in Alto Hospicio:

We like to have a live tree, so we once again decorated our one and only living house plant with a Christmas theme.

We had a packed house for Midnight Mass (at 9:30). It was great to see so many families come together.

We had the kids in the chapel act out the Christmas Pageant during Mass. Joshua was too big for Baby Jesus this year, but we fortunately had another infant to place in the manger. This time, Baby Jesus was a little girl.

At midnight, we followed Chilean tradition and placed Baby Jesus in the manger. Joshua had the honor. We invited a neighbor over for Christmas Eve dinner and got to bed at about 2am. Here, Santa Claus arrives at midnight, after the arrival of Baby Jesus, and so kids can be heard playing in the streets with their new toys until the early hours of the morning.

On Christmas Day, we joined the other missionaries, sisters, brothers and priests in the parish and shared a big turkey meal.

Joshua had on his festive bib for about 5 seconds... long enough for us to snap a picture and then for him to throw it on the ground.

Joshua had a great time running from lap to lap with all of his "aunts and uncles," stealing bites of their desserts.

Once again, we spread the American tradition of gifting Christmas cookies. This year, we totaled 210 cookies and handed them out to about 25 families. Anna did the visiting alone this year, because David was home with stomach problems. It was a blessing to be able to share with so many families in such a simple way and deserves a future blog post of its own.

These are the crumbled, misfit cookies that Anna allowed David, Joshua and Gringuita to eat.


stephanie garcia said...

What pretty cookies! I only managed no-bakes this year but fortunately they were still well received. :)

Anonymous said...

You guys closed your time in chile con "Broche de Oro" by being able to stay until December and sharing with so many families that wwere part of your mission. The cookies will be missed next December, but you will be missed all year long and beyond.

Love, Meri

Anna and David said...

Thanks Meri. It's so hard to say good bye this time. So many people have touched our hearts here and it's hard to describe how special the community is. Someone may need to push us onto the plane.