We had a great Christmas (La Navidad in Spanish) here in El Salvador. We had a chance to experience how this culture celebrates Christmas. On Christmas Eve morning we were at San Martin, and then in the evening we celebrated in the traditional Salvadoran way. In this country, the big party is on Christmas Eve. Salvadorans visit the homes of friends and family and stay up until after midnight. At midnight there are fireworks, gifts, and often a huge turkey dinner. Then there are parties all night. Some Salvadorans have the big meal earlier in the night around 9pm.
We started the night by going to the home of a large Salvadoran family. There were many people as the extended family gathered to celebrate. We went there in the late afternoon and participated in the posada. This is a parade where Mary and Joseph are paraded through the streets and there are songs sung, drums played, and stops at each home as Mary and Joseph search for a place to stay. Finally the last home is the “inn.” There they come in and there is a big party. Tori got to help with the posada and she had so much fun! Santa also visited the party at that home so that was a big thrill for the kids.
We then went to the YWAM base to have dinner with our teammates there around 9:00. We had a big turkey feast! We played games and the guys set off fireworks. Our kids didn’t quite make it until midnight so we headed home around 11:30. Then Jon and I sat on our terrace and watched the fireworks going off all over the city. It was an amazing sight and all I kept thinking was, “Welcome Jesus!” What a great start to Christmas morning!
The next day we opened gifts with our kids and relaxed at home all day. It was a nice quiet day very different from the hustle of Christmas in the U.S.! We did miss being with our families but we talked to everyone and saw them via skype and our webcam. We closed out the day by baking a cake and having a birthday party for Jesus with our kids. It was a great Christmas, and we hope all of you had a Merry Christmas as well!