We thought we’d share our Christmas fun and traditions with you this year. We had a different experience than last year because Leland’s parents came to visit for 2 weeks, so we had a lot of fun together as a family.
The month of December is quiet for ministry as people start traveling back to villages for time with family and friends. That means we start holiday gatherings mid-December. Adalyn was part of her school play as an adorable shepherd, and an older student in the community helped with a dance class for the younger girls, so Adalyn got to do another recital this year. To celebrate the year together, we took the people who work at our home to Sipi Falls. They had never been before, so it was a treat to share the experience with them.
On December 18, we picked up Leland’s parents from the airport and traveled back to Mbale the following day. As you can imagine, Adalyn was thrilled to have Memaw & Pawpaw here to visit. And we had a great time sharing the holiday festivities with them.
Of course, we started our time together by making Christmas cookies. Adalyn’s favorite part was helping make the dough and decorating the cookies. Leland’s favorite part was eating the cookies.
Christmas Eve was when we prepared our big meal. Leland smoked a turkey – starting with a real live turkey, not the frozen prepared ones from the store. We made pumpkin casserole, green bean casserole, broccoli cheese rice casserole, mashed potatoes and cream cheese corn. We also enjoy celebrating with our Piland family when we open our stocking stuff from them. It’s a great way for us to feel like we’re still part of their Christmas celebration even across the ocean. We’ve also adopted the tradition of new pajamas for Adalyn on Christmas Eve. They aren’t Christmas pajamas because that would be too hot here. =)
On Christmas Day, we go to church. It doesn’t matter what day it is, there is always a church service on Christmas Day. We then celebrate Christmas with brunch as a team. For dinner, we enjoyed leftovers from our big meal the day before while watching a Christmas movie.
For Adalyn’s gift this year, Leland and Paul spent some time building a tree house. Adalyn also got a bike to start riding around our neighborhood as we go walking/jogging. Adalyn made gifts for Memaw and Pawpaw.
Our Christmas is very different than what it used to be, but we are happy. We are happy with our family traditions and we are happy with celebrating a season to remember the gift of Jesus Christ. We hope you had a Merry Christmas and we wish you God’s blessings in the New Year!