We have always tried to keep Christmas set apart and special and not get too into the commercializing of it starting before Thanksgiving. We like Thanksgiving as well. We have so much to be thankful for, from the physical blessings we celebrate in November to the amazing spiritual gift we were given at the first Christmas.
In order to make Christmas a special time, apart from the rest of the year, when our kids were younger we decided on December 1st as our family’s traditional official and ceremonious starting point. No matter what we are seeing and hearing out in public, we are not allowed to do, see or hear anything having to do with Christmas until that auspicious day. Then the household is jolted from sleep that morning with our favorite arrangement of “Joy to the World” and the fun begins.
But we are longing for a long good time this year so we started just after Thanksgiving, decorating the house and listening to Christmas music. It has been fun. We don’t have any shops to go to so we are working on gifts that we can make ourselves. That is a lot more work and planning for me but a lot more rewarding in the end.
We watched the musical version of “Scrooge” with Albert Finney as another tradition. Had the MAF team over for that. It kind of set the mood for our party time with our employees in a very good way. With a bit of our “mortal money”, we have the power to bring joy and change the circumstances in people’s lives and we tried to spread that around this year. First of all, there were many of our guys who had never been in an airplane, in spite of having worked with MAF for many years. We had a day where we took everyone up for a flip around the village and surrounding area in our newest Caravan, CMP. It was great fun for most while others realized that they were not meant to fly.
We took our staff in Bunia out for a big dinner with singing and prayer and unlimited chicken, fish and chips and sodas to eat and drink. It is shocking and fun what some people can eat. Especially if they bring a backpack! Some went and bought plastic bags at the corner to take home the “bones”. Everyone had a lot of fun and it will be a time to remember. It is British tradition to give a “Christmas Box” with food and things for the house on “Boxing Day” the day after Christmas and we enjoy making these boxes here as well. They are full of rice and beans and sugar and sweets and matches and other good stuff filling a wash tub or strong bucket or some such. We will do that again today for our Nyankunde staff.
Plans are for singing some carols around the fire outside and a quiet Christmas morning and maybe going to the church for a bit. The service is planned to last over 3 hours of music and preaching but we will not stay for all of that. We have already heard all the practice for the last few weeks, amplified just a bit much. We are having guests over for Christmas dinner. Cher ordered a big ham, which we are looking forward to and we will have sweet potatoes and Christmas cake and maybe even a couple kinds of pies. She is a great cook.
We want to wish each of you a very Merry Christmas with new insights into what we are celebrating and why this is such a wonderful Holiday.