Imagine being 15-years-old, half way around the world from home and family and spending Christmas in a place where traditions are different but the meaning is the same. How would you handle it? Well, I’d say Lara did great under the same circumstances!
We didn’t open gifts on Christmas Eve, which Lara is accustomed to in Germany… but we did go to church and we were surrounded by family… two things she IS accustomed to. We had all the family over Christmas Eve for my traditional Enchilada dinner… two big pans of both beef and chicken Enchiladas. Not sure what it is about Mexican fare on Christmas Eve but it seems like many Arizonans do the same. Must be that we are so close to the Mexican border and Mexican food is so prominent here! Then we went to church at the 1st United Methodist Church of Gilbert. There we had the traditional Christmas songs sung by the choir and by the congregation and a special Christmas message. We drove to a few neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights afterwards and then home to go to bed and get rested for Christmas Day and celebrating Jesus birth!
The plan was to open gifts at 10am. Lara and Brittany made sure they were up ahead of time to pretty themselves because they KNEW I would be taking pictures for the world to see on the Blog! They know me so well! The pictures are below… and you will see that they all did pretty well in the “receiving gifts” department! The girls were easy…. clothes, jewelry, body lotions…the typical things! Lara was no exception and we really had fun shopping for her. The biggest challenge was getting her things she could bring back home with her! Brittany and Travis already knew one of their gifts but acted surprised for their picture to be taken, which is funny! We had already been planning a Baja Mexico Cruise in January! We had to tell them in advance so they kept the dates open. When Lara came to America, we told her she was welcome to join us…so she’ll be going too, along with our good friend Kay!
The older kids included Lara in their gift giving and I think the “girls” created a special bond this weekend after Melody had Amber, Brittany and Lara stay over night at her house the night before Christmas Eve for a ‘Girls Night Out”. They shopped, went out for an Italian dinner and then played Wii till all hours of the night! On Cjristmas eve morning they made Christmas-themed-shaped pancakes and ate them by the pool. Lara said that definitely didn’t make it feel like Christmas at all! HaHa!
Enjoy the photos!!!