As long as I have lived in Chile I cannot get used to the hot Christmases. Granted, we are only talking about the high 80’s to low 90’s in our town, but still . . .that’s warm enough to curdle eggnog. Not a pretty picture.
But some of the traditions here are heartwarming and family-friendly. Like the fact that everyone stays up until midnight on Christmas Eve to dine. And it is quite the spread–they take out all the stops, as the old saying goes.
Then, while folks are patting their rounded stomachs, the kids assault the tree and tear into the presents. Which means at two in the morning you have youngsters riding around the neighborhood on their new bikes, skateboards, or scooters. Or more likely, bent over the newest video game. In shorts and tank tops, remember. No parkas or boots. I have to admit that part is awesome.
My sons married Chilean girls, so they celebrate the traditional Chilean way on Christmas Eve with my daughters-in-law’s folks and then are free to come to our place the morning of the 25th. Which is incredibly quiet, as everyone is conked out from the late-night festivities.
It is nice for them not to have to decide with which side of the family to celebrate–they get the best of both worlds. We’ve tried to maintain some typical practices, like the kinds of ornaments, filling the stockings, pancake breakfast.
But it has been necessary to compromise and mesh. It’s all part of adjusting to living in a foreign country.
The same goes for my writing. At this point, my market is English-speaking countries because it is the one more likely to read what I write. But, it is impossible for my stories not to have that multicultural flavor, that slight twist in the way of looking at things or even the setting.
And I suppose it will always be that way. It looks like I am going to be here for the long haul. I mean, we’ve been here more than forty years, and we have my burial plots purchased. That’s pretty permanent, earthly speaking, right?
So, as much as I dream of a white Christmas, it isn’t going to happen. But that’s okay. I know this is where God wants me right now, and that’s good enough for me.
How about you? How do you handle dreaming of other things or places when you’re pretty sure it isn’t going to happen?