Last night I was told that Christmas is not celebrated in Mozambique – a vestige of communist times. Apparently there is still a holiday in the country on December 25, but it is called Family Day. Even the churches are only just starting to celebrate Christmas and don’t do anything for Advent. Then those who actually do celebrate – the missionaries – are all celebrating elsewhere. The Oasis office is closed for two weeks, and most people will be gone on holiday. Not what someone who’s just said good-bye to her family and is in a brand new place wants to hear.
I was sad last night.
Then this evening I went to the home of an Oasis couple who were hosting an early Christmas party for the Christians in their neighborhood as people will start leaving on their holidays soon. They had a little Christmas tree, tinsel on their doors, and twinkling Christmas lights over a window. There were about twenty of us there, enjoying roasted chicken and turkey, Brazilian barbecued meat, roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad, and a yule log for dessert. To me it felt like another Thanksgiving rather than Christmas, but it was definitely festive.
Even better than enjoying a celebration tonight is that the couple hosting the evening (as well as some others) will still be here on Christmas day, so I will not be alone.