Christmas in Guatemala was very low key. The kids have never celebrated a holiday without their cousins and grandparents so we anticipated it might be difficult for them but they were champs and found joy in the season! Thankfully we made new traditions and enjoyed celebrating His wonderful birth as a family of 8.
Most of us went to church on Christmas Eve (not the one that vomited in the street on our walk to the service) and spent a memorable evening worshiping. The music was absolutely extraordinary and the kids did a wonderful job with the nativity story. Singing praises in both English and Spanish always makes my heart rejoice. Singing them on Christmas Eve, thinking about the Christ child born in a manger, was just awe-inspiring.
After the service we came home and watched 'It's a Wonderful Life' and ate Christmas cookies. We stayed up until midnight because we heard so much about the Antigua firework display. Guatemalans do not need an excuse to have fireworks or boombas (firecrackers) but Christmas is not like any other day. It is more like July 4...to the extreme. At midnight we were able to enjoy a spectacular display from our rooftop. And the next day. And the next. And the next. Guatemalans LOVE their fireworks. :)
Here are a few pictures of Christmas in Guatemala:
Aren't these stockings gorgeous? They are made from the typical Mayan huipil (blouse). Guatemalan women spend hours at the weave working on their beautiful blouses. It can take up to 6 months to create one blouse.
The corn stalk lamb is popular in Guatemala. We thought it was adorable so Grandma bought us one when she visited in November. :)
We love decorating for Christmas and this year we made a lot of our own decorations. "Alegria a el Mundo," translates to "Joy to the World," in English.
Our beautiful Guatemalan Advent candle. We enjoyed lighting it each Sunday to prepare our hearts for Christ's birth!
This is a popular Christmas decoration in Guatemala. Isn't it adorably tacky?!
Grandma and Pop-Pop gave each girl a game. We had a lot of fun playing cards over the break!
Ava was an angel in the nativity program on Christmas Eve.
Annabelle played Mary's cousin, Elizabeth, and Pearl was also an angel.
We did a lot of baking! Jude and Pearl especially enjoy helping in the kitchen.
Each of the girls received an umbrella for Christmas. We are prepared for rainy season this time! Bring it on!
Sadly, we didn't get too many pictures of Joseph this Christmas! He was under the weather but what a big boy he was for the annual picture on the steps Christmas morning!