Our second Christmas in Jakarta was full of old traditions and some new ones. For the second year in a row, we enjoyed swimming on Christmas Eve. Although we dreamed of a white Christmas and oohed and awed over the Facebook posts of snow in Virginia, the sunshine wasn't too bad either. Someday, perhaps we'll look back on these pictures and actually envy the balmy 80 degree weather.
Madi entertained us with waterballoons (a white elephant gift she received during a YW/YM activity.)
Decorating Christmas cookies are always a favorite.
Another continued tradition...new pajamas and books on Christmas Eve. Without a Target within easy driving distance, I relied on local stores and was please to find the girls coordinating pajama pants at Pajaten Village. Then with a little help from Ria (our favorite Indonesian tailor) the one-size-fits-all pants turned into four different perfect sizes.
A "second-year tradition" was the annual Christmas caroling party with the Indonesian instruments: Anklungs. They are made out of bamboo and produce sound by shaking them (kind of like a tambourine). When the bamboo pieces strike, they produce a tone. What started a small gathering of a couple families grew into a neighborhood caroling event. It was so very memorable and just what I needed to keep from getting too homesick.
We tried to continue the "visit Santa" tradition. But as we approached Santa at the Ambassador's party, CJ clung to her Dad as if her life depended on it. She didn't loosen her grip or look up during the entire exchange.
Here she is - post-traumatic event.
Now for some new traditions:
We read aloud "Fig Pudding" this December and the family in the book made pizza shaped like a Christmas Tree for the night they were to decorate their Christmas Tree. We adopted the tradition and love it!
And my personal favorite new tradition: soapy snow at the Lippo Mall in Kemang. For just a few moments, the white specks floating through the air really did look like snow. Meya slipped and slid through the accumulating bubbles. Though it was not a typical white Christmas, for this homesick girl (me), it was just the right mix of crazy Jakarta and fun.
Of course, the best part of Christmas was being with family and friends and feeling the love and joy that comes with celebrating the birth of our Savior.
We feel truly blessed...it was a wonderful Christmas season.