On Christmas Eve, we would have Oyster stew, crackers, cheese and vegetables to dip. Over the years, we discovered that no one actually like Oyster Stew, but for pure tradition, we continued serving Oyster Stew. We branched out to include Chili and/or Elder Dixon's wonderful clam chowder. Had to laugh when, at Thanksgiving, Dominique served Oyster on the Half Shell. so I had some oysters!
This year, we looked to sharing Christmas with our Missionaries and friends. On Christmas Eve, we invited the missionaries who had not been invited anywhere else to come here, but they all found a place to go. We were able to share some of the traditions with Bala and his family. We dropped the Oyster Stew tradition, but we still remembered (and that is good enough in my book).
We then went to Richard and Peter's home for their Christmas Eve party. It was lovely.
Christmas morning, we had breakfast for Bala and his family, the Portuguese missionaries and our newest convert, Marcio. We had a breakfast casserole, pancakes and juice. It is always fun to see the reaction when we introduce new foods to our friends and missionaries. Many of them had never had any of those foods.
Our missionaries were not forgotten and received some very nice anonymous gifts like ties, hacky sacks, and cookbooks. We just bought inexpensive things so that we could have a gift exchange. Note to our wonderful Santas: we shared the package that you sent because there were several missionaries who would otherwise have been forgotten. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
Elder Galvez's mother sent these lovely runners as a gift. They are from Guatamala.
What you see behind them is the string of Christmas cards we received. My cute mother-in-law sent a Christmas card for every day! We thought she was doing the twelve days of Christmas, so we didn't open any for a while!
This was the fun table at Richard and Peter's home. We all had a popper on our plate. The children really enjoyed it.
So, it was a Christmas of family and friends. We didn't need snow or presents. We had the joy of being together. We miss those who could not be here and hope to share our mission with them at some point.
It was truly a Merry Christmas.