I am just loving being here for Christmas! Imagine, being able to sit outside in a t-shirt and sing carols by candlelight at sunset! It’s beautiful!
And you know the best thing, NO BRUSSEL SPROUTS!! Every year, my mum and grandma try to persuade me to ‘just try one’, ‘you know you might like them this year’, ‘they’re very good for you’…NO!! I’m 23 years old, I’ve never liked brussel sprouts and I never will! And this year, there will not be a sprout in sight!
I’ll be staying in Nairobi for Christmas. The plan is to get up and have freshly baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast with mango/pinapple/passion/banana fruit salad…mmm… Then off to church while the turkey’s a-cookin’ (we’re praying we don’t run out of gas…!! Our oven is powered by a gas cylinder and there’s no way to tell when you’re running low…). Then back from church and finish preparing Christmas dinner to be eaten early afternoon…(Africa time…) followed by a chilled afternoon/evening playing games, relaxing and of course watching the obligatory Wallace and Gromit (no, not the Queen’s speech…sorry Grandma!). We’re having a kind of ‘open house’ but expecting around 10 people over for Christmas dinner and others dropping by at different points of the day.
Tomorrow will be a busy day, preparing vegetables, making mince pies, slaughtering the turkey (yes, you read right) and so on. I’m so loving all the Christmas preparations – I love Christmas!
And how am I feeling about Christmas in Kenya…??
People have been asking me if I’ll be missing home this Christmas, but much as I love Christmas in England – snuggling up warm, crap Christmas TV, tacky Christmas lights etc – I’m really looking forward to celebrating in a different way this year. Every year up until now, I’ve generally spent Christmas in a very similar way with my lovely family. Having Christmas a bit different to normal, the changes of how I’ll be spending the festive season this year, have particularly emphasized to me the thing that remains constant: Jesus. Despite the differences between Christmas in the UK and Christmas here, the reasons for my celebrations remain the same: Jesus. The most precious gift was given to us, and He is not only Mighty God, all powerful and in full authority, but also comes to us as our Everlasting Father – the best forever and ever. He comes as Prince of Peace, to bring reconciliation and restore hope, and as Wonderful Counsellor. Someone who brings wisdom and we can turn to with our troubles. (Isaiah 9:6). And it’s been great to have Christmas stripped of what I’m used to so I can remember to bring all the glory back to Him this season.
I will miss my friends and family – real and church – for sure. But to be honest, and please don’t take offense, I don’t think of home that often to get homesick. I think the times I get a little homesick is when things remind me of the UK, but life’s so different here…it’s hard to compare the two worlds. And I feel so at home here…
Having said that, know that you special people are very much in my thoughts at the moment. Please receive lots and lots of extra-special warm Christmas hugs and love from me. And do keep in touch – I’d love to hear from you and about your Christmases.
So all that’s left is for me to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May God bless you greatly over the next few days and into 2012 too.
I’ll leave you with a photograph of our little Christmas tree. If you’re wondering, it’s a bit of branch in a pot with homemade decorations on it… Actually I think I’ve become a little obsessed with the tree… everyday there’s some conversation about it, and I’m forever rearranging the decorations and worrying if it’s got enough water. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when the time comes to take it down…Let’s not think about that now! Enough waffle: here is the little beauty: