Holidays in the Tropics

Our Christmas cards went out on Christmas Eve (many thanks to my sister, Baby K, for printing the address labels and making the post office run to get them out!!), and I included our blog address on them.  I’ve done this for the last two years as well, and I think only two or three people have noticed it and visited the site (I’m thinking of CB in Boston).  If you’re reading this because you got our card, you get a gold star.  Would you leave a comment or email me to satisfy my curiosity?

I have been surprisingly consistent on updating this site once or twice per month since we got married.  Since we lived apart from any of our family and friends as newlyweds, I wanted a way to record thoughts and update people without forcing my updates on anyone.  Since then, having a baby and moving to a new country have helped me have plenty of ideas for posts.

Did you know:

  • The Bahamas are not in the Caribbean?  Well, some people say it is and some people say it isn’t.  Technically, the Caribbean sea is south of  the Bahamas and is bordered on the north by Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  But geopolitically, the Bahamas is considered part of the Caribbean nations.  But to keep from offending all the Bahamians reading my emails, I have ceased signing emails “Love from the Caribbean.”
  • The Bahamas are not in the Tropics?  The tropics extends above and below the equator 23 degrees, but New Providence (Nassau’s island) is situated at 25 degrees north of the equator.  OK, I take it back!  Since the Bahamas actually has 700 islands and extends much further south than where we are.  The southernmost island is at 20 degrees north of the equator, so it and plenty of other Bahamian islands fall within the “tropics.”

I just discovered the second point here after writing the title to the post and then doing research to back up my assumption (that we live in the tropics), which of course was wrong.  AMERICANS!!! Do we know ANY-thing about the world?

Back to my original blog post topic: we spent Thanksgiving in the Bahamas with my parents, sisters and brother-in-law, and we are spending the Christmas-to-New-Years week with T’s parents, brother and sister.  Today I have a bit of a mid-visitation reprieve as the whole C family left for a day-long adventure on powerboats.  Babies are not great candidates for such adventures, and I was perfectly happy to stay behind.  Even extroverts need down time, and KLC is sure to be refreshed by a restful day.

Our Christmas celebration as a little family this year included:

  • Decorating the house after KLC went to sleep on Thanksgiving day. Decorations include a 3 ft artificial tree on top of our raised coffee/side table, my childhood Precious Moments nativity scene, various collected Christmas-y items resting on high cabinets or shelves (are you sensing a theme?), and ribbons and bows around the condo and on the porch.  I’m so glad we brought our small collection of Christmas decor with us to the Bahamas!
  • Exchanging gifts my T family on the day after Thanksgiving before A&M left for Atlanta.
  • Attending our church Christmas dinner after KLC went to sleep (yay for our babysitter!).
  • Celebrating at a Christmas Eve happy hour with the small group of T’s coworkers still in town (most leave to their home countries for 2-4 weeks at the holidays), complete with a warm fire displayed on an ipad, and then having a quiet evening at home during which KLC decided to start really walking.  So fun!
  • Attending the Christmas Day church service at our church, where KLC walked/danced in the aisles until T took her outside to explore (thank God for childcare during normal services!).
  • Enjoying a Christmas Day dinner with T’s family who all arrived that afternoon.  Dinner included a baked ham, au gratin potatoes, homemade bread, salad, and concord grape pie.  Mrs. C brought the grape pie filling on the plane with her!
  • Exchanging gifts with T’s family on the 26th.

I find it so interesting how Christmas festivities change depending on where you live, the surrounding culture, and how you’re connected within that place.  I first experienced this when I moved to California and wasn’t particularly well-connected.  It was 2008, and even my company Christmas party was canceled due to the economy.  (Our company was doing well enough, but all the companies in the Bay area decided to donate what they would have spent on a party to a local charity due to the recession.)  I then decided to live it up and host my own party for my interesting and international crowd of coworkers.  Some of my coworkers had never been to a “real” Christmas party before!  I couldn’t believe that as a southerner who attended 2-3 parties per weekend and a different Christmas lunch every other day for the entire month of December in Tennessee.  The party was a huge hit, and I continued it all three years of my time in the Bay area.

As the external trappings of Christmas have changed from Tennessee to California to Texas to the Bahamas, I have enjoyed observing the changes and becoming more aware of what doesn’t change: the Christian season of Advent.  For the past 6 or so years, I have attended churches that light advent candles and host Christmas services on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  T and I intend to continue making Advent services important in our family as KLC grows.  Mrs. C got us our first advent calendar this year, which I look forward to using.

I’ll end this rambling post with a picture from our Christmas card photo shoot.  Much love to you and yours from the C family!

Christmas2013

 

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5 thoughts on “Holidays in the Tropics

    • Wow, that is surprising. I think I first knew about advent candles because of your family, Brooke. I was at your house one Sunday after church when you lit them. 🙂

  1. Don’t worry……many foreigners have naive views of the U.S. too.
    And it doesn’t help that the media here perpetuates such a huge amount of misinformation.

    Glad to hear you had such a lovely holiday season.
    Happy New Year!

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