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
2. Dec. 15th:
Two Turtle Doves – Two Twisted Cuerpos
3. Dec. 16th:
Three French Hens – Three Frosted Donuts (& Three Flashing Light Strands.)
Yeah…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
5. Dec. 18th:
Five Gold Rings – Five Grueling Kilometers
6. Dec 19th:
Six Gesse-a-Laying – Six Gooey Hotwings
7. Dec. 20th:
Seven Swans-a-Swimming – Seven Santa Sightings
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
As 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)
After 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
11. Dec 24th:
Eleven Pipers Piping – Eleven Popcorn Balls
A 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
And 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.