Christmas Way Down South

These past weeks have been a crazy blur for me as they have for everyone else I am sure.  On this Christmas eve, as I am waiting for cookies to bake, I finally have a little time to sit down and share about what Ruben and I have been doing during this Christmas season.

Our last youth service of the year was an Ugly Sweater party.  We had tons of typical party food from the States, that I made.  We sang Christmas carols around a bonfire, played Nintendo Wii, took pictures, had the ugly sweater contest, and played the white elephant game.  The Ugly Sweater contest and white elephant game were two things that the Salvadorans had ever done before.  So they all had a blast.

We were invited to help out in a day retreat for a non denominational group from the University of El Salvador.  We went to a campsite in San Jose Villanueva and helped out with games and team building activities.
We had a dinner party, at our house, for the leaders who help us with the youth. I made this little cheese ball snowman which was a big hit. However, he melted pretty quickly.

We were invited to go snorkeling so I had to give Ruben his Christmas gift early because I bought him snorkel gear.  We went to this beautiful, private beach called Las Salinitas and snorkeled for a good 3 hours.  It was really beautiful and even though it is the Pacific Ocean it was really clear and we saw some really cool fish.

I was asked to take pictures for a wedding and if you know anything about Salvadoran culture weddings are not short.  There is praise and worship, then a sermon, then the actual ceremony which includes: unity candle, presentation of the rings, presentation of the Bible, presentation of fake money which represents financial blessings, and the lazo.
We have a group of friends with whom we started an annual Christmas dinner party last year. So this year we got together again and had a blast.

And on this Christmas Eve I wanted to keep the stocking tradition alive since down here they don't do stockings. So with some left over burlap I made us our stockings. I had to explain to Ruben what to do and the kind of stuff to put into the stockings. So we both went stocking stuffer shopping and tonight we will fill each others stockings.

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