Because there is no snow or reminder of the Christmas season, Christmas could pass us by without us really even knowing it occurred. There is no music blaring in every store you enter, cold winter air, or Salvation Army bells ringing. We have reminders of it ourselves though as we have the advent candles out and snowflakes on the windows, creating the spirit that I know, just a little bit. It has caused me to reflect though on Christmas itself. Christmas is a holiday that celebrates Christ’s birth, hence the Christ part of Christmas. And yet in Guatemala it is not a major Christian holiday. Because there is such a great divide between those who are Christians and their traditional ways of celebrating holidays, they do all they can to remain separate. Having a Christmas tree is against the Christian rules here is Guatemala. Decorating is not accepted. There is little celebration or even mention of the day. Then what is Christmas if there is not celebration? Yes, we have established these traditions and many times we get so caught up in shopping and the hustle and bustle of the season that we forget the root of the holiday. But our traditions also help to create anticipation for Christmas Day. We are Christians should remember Jesus year round and although there is debate over what month Jesus was actually born, it is during Christmas that we focus on His birth and celebrate him even further. Our traditions that we have built in bring us to this celebration. It brings families together with the reminder of what Jesus means to each of us during this time of year. I hope that your preparations have been in anticipation of this celebration.
Today we went in search of a Christmas tree…. Here are a few pictures from the excursion.