Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us here in Guatemala!

Edwin and his sister Jennifer joined us for Christmas, so we had 4 staying with us for the holiday. Christmas is celebrated very differently here in Guatemala compared to the United States. I think that the majority of Americans sing “Silent Night” by candlelight. But here they celebrate Jesus’ birth with LOTS of fireworks! At dusk on Christmas Eve people build small fires in front of their houses and sit around it to chat. At midnight the skies light up and group trembles as an impressive number of fireworks are lit. Then hugs are given to everyone in sight, and everyone goes inside to eat tamales. Afterwards people stay up to talk and goof off until they’re too tired to stay awake any longer. Christmas day they just sleep in then eat more tamales!

Yuli’s family is fabulous, and they had all of us over for the celebration. It touches my heart so deeply that we invited these guys to stay with us because they didn’t have a place to go, and her family welcomes them over and they quickly feel part of the family. I’m so grateful to my in-laws for their love and generosity. New Year’s Eve is just a week away, and everyone’s been invited back again!

A ferris wheel was setup in the center of town that we visited this evening: