In the States, we had our Christmas traditions.

Tree farm... tractor ride... hot cocoa... music in the background as we decorated the tree and the house... Christmas lights plastered all over the house... dinners with family and friends... church Christmas plays...

In the States, Christmas was everywhere. It was anywhere. It was in the smell of the air. The sights. The sounds. The feel. Christ's birth. Something really worth celebrating and celebrating big.

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We had just arrived on the field.

Two weeks later, Thanksgiving was here and gone and the Christmas season was upon us. But something I didn't realize... something I neglected to bring... something we would miss dearly...

The Christmas atmosphere.

 

I didn't bring Christmas decorations. I didn't bring Christmas music. I didn't pack anything that felt like Christmas. And the Christmas atmosphere wasn't here. No decorations in stores. No cheerful Christmas music. No lawn decorations. No baking in the houses. Nothing. Well, there was one creepy skinny store front mannequin with a matted up Santa beard and a filthy Santa Claus outfit that looked like someone dug it out of a dumpster. Not very festive. More like Halloween! 

This was not a good way to start out our new life here on the field... so we went into emergency mode.

I am not craft-y, but crafts were flying left and right. (And more is done each year!)

Then The sewing machine came out.

We found a store on the other side of the city that had a few Christmas stockings.

And family and friends came to the rescue sending decorations.

If we could find a place... anywhere... to make Christmas feel like Christmas, we did!

Scented candles, internet Christmas music... fingernails...

It even stretched into the cooking!

Christmas atmosphere on many fields takes effort. A lot of effort. But each year here it takes less effort. We learned that Christmas is as festive as you make it wherever you are. I guess we learned to bloom where our poinsettia was planted.

People are beginning to celebrate here. Stores are beginning to decorate. Though few people here even know what they are celebrating, it's a start. And it's an open door. An open door to bring the TRUE meaning of Christmas. I guess in some way we are doing our part to help this country find Christmas.