This year Christmas was different. It really didn’t feel much like it. Being so far from home, in such a different culture, with super high temperatures the days before Christmas, none of that helped. It was neither my first Christmas away from home nor my first hot one (we had some in Florida too…), but this time around it felt so weird! And I tried, I really tried…

We decorated one of the trees outside with lights and pieces of capulana to make little bows. Ramona helped a little bit and it turned out nice but it didn’t look at all like a Christmas tree… :P

The Tió came to our house, and he was the one reminding me the most that Christmas was around the corner. Ramona loved feeding him and talking to him every morning! We first had him in the house but it started to grow mold so he had to go sit outside under the mango tree.

We got together to bake cookies with our new friends, a German/Venezuelan family that just moved to Manhiça from Spain. They have 4 kids!! 4!! If we thought we were being “brave” to move to Mozambique with a toddler imagine with 2 girls, a toddler and a baby!! We admire them so much!

It was a lot of fun! Much messier than if I’d have done it on my own but you know, baking with kids, kind of crazy but cute. The house was already hot (we had some 40 Celsius plus days leading to Christmas), especially with the oven on all afternoon!! We baked a bunch of sugar cookies in all sorts of different shapes, even elephants! And we improvised some frosting that turned out to not work so well but to be very yummy. At the end of the afternoon we had eaten more cookies than we should have and we were all sweaty and messy, but it was so much fun! It’s a tradition that I like from the states that I wanna try to keep up!

I didn’t get to know much about what people do here for Christmas but it seems to be a holiday focused on spending time with family. I asked one of my Mozambican friends “What do you do for Christmas?” and she explained “We eat a lot, we drink a lot and we dance a lot!”. So that is my idea of a Mozambican Christmas! Doesn’t sound too bad ;)

On Christmas Eve we went to our friends’ place for dinner! It was sweet and special to be able to celebrate with a family, even if it was not our extended family. They even cooked turkey!

And on Christmas day we had a bunch of friends over, all the foreigners who stayed in Mozambique for the holidays like us, for a potluck lunch followed by the Caga Tió! We were lucky that it was not as hot and we ate outside!

Windy walk on Christmas day.

We didn’t do many gifts. Being away from the consumer society helps you disconnect from the “buying-gifts-for-everyone” craziness. We decided to focus more on experiences, so we were traveling these days instead, to South Africa and Swaziland! We’ve been (happily) disconnected during our trip, but cool pictures to come…

Happy New Year!!