Christmas down South has been... an experience. In just a few words, I would describe it as:
I realize Turkey isn't an adjective, but this is why I say turkey.
Our family cooked two of the biggest turkeys I've ever seen and one pig for Christmas. (I'll spare you the picture of the pig...).
On Christmas Eve, it was like any other day. Everyone worked a half day, people were shopping, and it was hot. I went with a friend to the mall to buy bread and fruitcake in the afternoon, and everyone was wearing shorts/tank tops while fifteen different Christmas songs were blaring at the same time. Speaking of fruitcake, I have never had so much fruitcake in my life. We've had some about every other day since the beginning of the month. They sure do love it. With hot chocolate. Even though it's 80 degrees.
I went to Catholic mass with my family and then we watched movies while waiting for the turkeys and pig to arrive. At midnight, we all hugged and then waited for the gifts. Then about 12:30, Santa Claus and his super helpful reindeer came down and gave out all the gifts. The adults did a Secret Santa.
There was lots of screaming, lots of loud music, and lots of laughing. A good time was had by all, and then we finally ate at about 1:30am. We ate turkey, pig, stuffing (of the turkey innards), bread, and fruitcake. Slightly different from the various platters in the States, but still delicious!
Then, we stayed up until 3:30 talking. On Christmas Day, it also felt like a normal day. Nobody really did anything and we had turkey leftovers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Yum.
Since there was nothing going on, I decided to go to the beach with a friend. We went without a map, without direction, and we arrived to a beautiful beach called Puerto Morí about 45 minutes from Trujillo. It was an awesome day for the beach and we had a blast. Especially when we couldn't get back to the main street so we hopped in someone's truck bed.
This was by far the strangest Christmas I've ever had, and it was hard to be away from my family, but it has made me appreciate the traditions and the fellowship we have. I am just thankful for technology that we were able to Skype!