12 Days of [Nilsen] Christmas

Not gonna lie…the holiday season has been a little rough.  It’s a time of year for family and traditions.  We had the privilege of spending Thanksgiving with our American boss which means that while we were missing family a bit, we were distracted and well taken care of with all the traditional foods and comforts of a good ole ‘Mmerican holiday.  For Christmas though, we’re on our own.

So we tried watching Christmas movies.  And they helped a little.  And we Skyped family and friends from home.  It’s so good to connect with loved ones, but it has that double effect of making us miss them, too.  We were still just wanting a little something to help us get into the Christmas spirit.

Then Andrew had a brilliant idea – we’ve been talking for ages about creating our own tradition so that we could have some continuity to our holidays regardless of which family we spent them with.  Since we’re without family this year, we decided it’s the perfect time to try something new.  Thus, the 12 Days of [Nilsen] Christmas were born.

We took each of the original 12 days, and using the first letter of each day, came up with something we could do here in Nica to celebrate, have fun, and just enjoy time together.  Over the last 12 days, we’ve been laughing, loving, and getting into that jolly spirit that so embodies the season.  It’s been such a wonderful lead up to Christmas, that I’m already exited to do it again in 353 days! Entonces, without further ado, we present:

The 12 Days of [Nilsen] Christmas 2014

1. Dec. 14th: A Partridge in a Pear Tree – A Pepsi from a Pulperia

A Pepsi from a PulperiaIt’s the little things in life right?  It’s amazing how happy a little soda can make me!

2. Dec. 15th: Two Turtle Doves – Two Twisted Cuerpos

Yoga timeWe found a Yoga studio in Estelí!  If you haven’t google translated it yet, cuerpos = bodies.  We got our twist and stretch on.

3. Dec. 16th: Three French Hens – Three Frosted Donuts (& Three Flashing Light Strands.)

DonutsYeah…so they’re not frosted.  We wanted to get our regular chocolate frosted donuts, but they literally sold the last two to the people in front of us in line.  We had to settle for delicious sugar-coated instead.  (And just in case this wouldn’t cut it for our 12 days, Andrew bought us some Christmas lights to put up as well.  Three strands to be exact.)

4. Dec. 17th: Four Calling Birds – Four Cafecitos

4 CafecitosOne of our favorite local haunts, Café Don Luis, served us up four (two each) great cups of coffee.

5. Dec. 18th:  Five Gold Rings – Five Grueling Kilometers

Runner's highWe used our 12 days as a great excuse to run a 5K.  As you can see, we were feeling pretty awesome after we finished.  PR for me!

6. Dec 19th: Six Gesse-a-Laying – Six Gooey Hotwings

Salsa KayrosAnother favorite haunt, Salsa Kayros, has fabulous wings.  We ordered 12 (6 each) and settled in for a night watching the Blazer game on the ESPN latino channel.  BTWs – Blazers won in 3OT!

7. Dec. 20th: Seven Swans-a-Swimming – Seven Santa Sightings

Santa!  I know him!!December is a month of celebrations in our site and December 20th was one of the noches de compra.  The stores stay open late, there’s parties and bands in the streets, and it’s a jolly good time. It’s rather like Nicaragua’s tamer version of Black Friday.

8. Dec. 21st: Eight Maids-a-Milking – Eight Mounted Mustaches

Hipica 2014As mentioned before, December is a month of celebrations.  December 21st was Estelí’s Hípica – a horse parade with lots of (again) parties and bands in the streets, drinking, and a more jolly good times.  We took this opportunity to spot 8 full mustaches, but only those who were actually on a horse counted.  Don’t worry, we had no trouble meeting this goal.

9. Dec. 22nd: Nine Ladies Dancing – Nine Lounging Hours (of Hobbit Watching)

El HobbitAfter a weekend of festivities, we thought we’d take it easy.  So we watched the first two Hobbit’s leading up to watching the third at the theater in Spanish!  A little spendy for our budgets, but Andrew’s Bestefar (Norwegian for grandfather) put some money in our account, so it was his Christmas present to us!

10. Dec. 23rd:  Ten Lords-a-Leaping – Ten Loud Blazer Cheers

Blazers!Another awesome night of watching and cheering on our Portland Trail Blazers.  BTWs – we won in OT again!

11. Dec 24th: Eleven Pipers Piping – Eleven Popcorn Balls

Popcorn ballsA tradition we already have is that of watching “A Muppets Christmas Carol” on Christmas Eve.  So we made this holiday treat and curled up with some mint hot coco (thanks Paige and Jenn!) and giggled like little kids to one of our favorite Christmas movies.  What a wonderful way to close nochebuena.

12. Dec. 25th: Twelve Drummers Drumming – Twelve Duets of Carols

Christmas hymnsAnd here we are.  Christmas Day!  Singing together is a great way to feel closer to our loved ones while also embracing the moment and the day.  So we’re opening up our hymnal today and sharing in some of those old favorites.

It may be a very different Christmas, but we made it our own.  Most importantly, we spent time together celebrating the joy, hope, love, and peace that this season is all about.  Merry Christmas, all.

 

 

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17 thoughts on “12 Days of [Nilsen] Christmas”

    1. The dancing was my favorite, even if it was mostly a blur on our end! Thanks for including us in every way you could in the festivities. It meant a lot to us.

    1. We can feel that Brown love all the way down here. It was so wonderful to Skype ya’ll the other day. Your pictures from Christmas day were fantastic as well. Sending lots of love and light your way, friend.

  1. It was such fun to have you “both with us” this Christmas. God jul! We love you both. I love to read your report on your experiences. Bestefar.

      1. I am so proved of you both. Your ministry in Nicaragua is outstanding.
        You are two great representative of our family. Love from us here in the USA.

  2. We fly into Managua on January 8 and will be with Alcance Staff until January 20. Please email me if you want to explore options with Bayardo and Adriana about meeting up with the 20 GU students. Merry Christmas!

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