Sunday, December 25, 2005

Feliz Natal e Boas Festes

Rudulph the Red Trucked Elephant?!?!

Ahhh Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. Actually, today the weather is cool and threatening rain, a welcoming change from the stifling heat of this past week. The radical difference in the Christmas environment from Maputo, Mozambique and Winnipeg, Manitoba has made it difficult for me to get into the Christmas Spirit this year. As much as I love experiencing the Christmas traditions of a different culture in a different land, I can’t help but get a little homesick for the familiarities of Christmas in Canada. At 25 years old, this is not only my first Christmas away from my family but also my first one without snow!! A part of me really misses looking out my window and seeing a Bing Crosby White Christmas. I also miss all the great Christmas parties with friends and family and belting out carols at the top of my lungs.

But the thing that is great about traditions is their enduring quality. I know that I will be around for more Christmases in Winnipeg but, at the present time, I find myself now in beautiful Mozambique for this holiday season. I spent a wonderful Christmas Eve afternoon yesterday walking around Maputo, soaking in the atmosphere, taking pictures and talking to the people on the street. Many people had a joyous spirit yesterday and I was blessed with many uplifting conversations with street venders and passer bys. There were many venders, dressed in Santa hats, desperately trying to sell last minute plastic trees and singing Christmas lights. The homeless, the sick, the blind and the lame were also out in overwhelming numbers yesterday. I had John Lennon’s “So this is Christmas” ringing in my ears and bringing the message close to my heart. There are just so many.

Then last night Cathy and I checked out the huge Catholic church downtown for Christmas Eve mass. It was a real fusion of Catholic and local African traditions so we sang everything from Ave Maria to Silent Night to Shangana spiritual songs. Today I’m checking out the International Church’s Christmas morning service then heading off to a Mozambican Christmas party (which might get a little wild!). Cathy and I are still putting on a little dinner tonight for other familyless folks here in Maputo so that should be a good time.

So I’m wishing everyone out there a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2006. I hope everyone is able to find something special for themselves at this time of year and cherish the blessings that surround us each and every day. The gift of the Christ child brings to all of us is peace, love, hope and joy…the greatest gifts of all, yesterday, today and forever.

Blessings to you all, wherever you may be!


Pai Natal says, "Have you been a good boy or girl this year?"


Anonymous Mom said...

We certainly missed having you home this Christmas. It was difficult maintaining some of our old traditions without your presence. Hope you had a wonderful visit with the Pretorias family in South Africa.

9:34 a.m.  
Anonymous Kristjanna said...

Hey there. You were missed on Christmas! Litterally! I missed your calls! ahhhh! But I spoke to Andrew and he said he got to speak with you. I hope you are well and having fun. Christmas was fantastic! I will send you some fun photos. Soon it will be back to the grind, but with days getting longer now I am smiling big! Summer is on it's way! Oh and I have been trying to text message you and I don't think it is working. Send me a message so that I can reply! That seems to work. You are missed Jared. Hope to talk to you soon!

10:11 a.m.  
Anonymous courtenay said...

hey jared! i stopped by the wine store while i was back for the break and rod was kind enough to give me this address. i've been reading your blog and it's amazing! you're experiences and the way you handle them humble me to no end. i hope you have a great new year. take care.

10:30 p.m.  

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