One of the hardest things about moving to a foreign country without your family is the holidays.  Back home there were so many  places you had to go and people you had to see.  I remember being so busy thinking “I just can’t do one more function”.  But now, every “function” is one that I look forward to.  I miss my family and wish that I could see them, however there are things I don’t miss about the holidays in the states either.  I don’t miss the commercialization of Christmas with all the ads and all the pop ups on the computer of getting that one last-minute present.   Then there’s the Christmas music which begins nows in October?  By the time Christmas actually arrives, I’m sick of it.   Not having all the hype has made me appreciate some of the traditions that were meant to be fun but became just one more thing to cross off my list and get done back in the states;  like making cookies.

Today was Christmas cookie decorating day and I have to say that I enjoyed every moment.  My friend Jill and I decorated about 10 dozen cookies, played Christmas music in the background and overall had fun. The guys had their own fun as well watching the bulldozers and other machinery outside of Jill and Sy’s home in Las Gilces where they were getting a new road!  If you only knew what the old road looked like before, you would appreciate it too!  Christmas cookie decorations are a bit hard to come by here.  The only real decorations were the tiny candy balls and chocolate balls that are just alittle bigger.  The rest need to be improvised with things such as gum drops, marshmellows, coconut and as well as Skittles (which are available but extremely expensive)!

As Jill and I talked about life in Ecuador, which is so different from the states we both agreed there were many aspects we missed like spontaneously getting in our car and going to the store, or of course being able to visit with family on a whim.  Here going to the store is a planned event and typically takes all day.  Anyone who has moved abroad, has considered the pros and cons of being away from your home country and certainly this isn’t for everyone.

Yes, I do miss my family but I’m happy I’m here in South America also.  New traditions can and will be started and new appreciations will be realized.  I hope to bless some families in my neighborhood this year with gringo cookies and I’m hoping this will become one of those traditions that will be carried out each year.

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