Christmas at Home This Year

Last year we spent a month in the states visiting family and friends, although we did get back to our home about a week before Christmas. This year we are “staying put”. So as our tradition has it, we set up and decorated the Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving and some of the Christmas lights around a window. Mikkel is still planning to hang the icicle lights from the roof. Seems we are one of the first homes in the barrio to decorate our veranda, although Thanksgiving dinner at Villa Romera Restaurant was already fully decorated for Christmas. But the restaurant is in another nearby town.

Our new Christmas Tree with lights.
Our new Christmas Tree with lights.

 

Christmas Tree in the daytime on the front veranda.
Christmas Tree in the daytime on the front veranda.

 

I really like having most of the decorations outside; does not clutter up the living room. The only thing I have to watch is the cats who love to play with the hanging ornaments. Last year they actually pulled down the tree and many of my collectible ornaments I brought from the states with sentimental value broke. But I have learned to let go and this year we bought a huge box of plastic ornaments from PriceSmart along with a new artificial 7ft. tree (the top section of the old one had broken and kept slumping over). I do miss cutting down a fresh tree to decorate and the smell of pine. I went to Machetazo (like a Walmart) in Chitré yesterday and saw many fresh green pine trees for sale, each sitting in a bucket of water. Not sure how long they will stay green.

Our last fresh cut Christmas tree before moving to Pedasí.
Our last fresh cut Christmas tree before moving to Pedasí.

Dry season (verano) has arrived early this year. I can tell because the wind direction has changed. And with a short and not very rainy wet season, I think we are in for a long hot and very dry summer. No rain until next June possibly. Although it was somewhat overcast today, there was still no rain in Pedasí. So I have turned on the drip irrigation in our garden and started watering the areas not reached by the system, which means a higher water bill. It is still a lot lower than any water bill we received in California. Came across our first scorpion for the season under a mat in front of the garden shed while sweeping. Eventually the insect life will be changing, less mosquitos and “chitras” (no-see-ums). More flowers seem to be blooming.

Again, Christmas does not seem to be as commercialized here in the pueblo as in the large cities or the United States. It is nice to watch Netflix without all those Christmas commercials-buy this, buy that. I did watch a few shows lately on ABC.com and CBS.com; so many commercials for Christmas shopping. Definitely don’t miss that. I noticed that many stores with a few exceptions in Las Tablas and Chitré waited until last weekend to set up their Christmas displays. Here in Panama, Día de Madre (Mother’s Day) is on Tuesday, December 8th. So many are concentrating on that starting this weekend where families will be visiting their mothers starting on Friday. Afterwards, I think I will be seeing more and more Christmas decorations popping up throughout.

But Christmas is not about decorating or shopping for presents. It’s about sharing our love for family and friends where ever you may be.  For Mikkel and I, its celebrating Christ’s birth and the blessings we have received. Although I love and miss them, we won’t be with our family this year, but we have a new family of friends to share this joy with. So I look forward to this season at home in Pedasí.

 

One thought on “Christmas at Home This Year

  1. McMoller says:

    Hola Tom, I can speak mostly about Pedasi because there are so many micro-climates throughout Panama. Yes in Pedasi, it does not rain during the dry season (December – May or June). Other places such as Boquete in the mountains and even Bucaru south of us have had a little rain, but not real significant. This last dry season started early in late November. We have had no rain but a few sprinkles on a couple of days since. This year it has also been extremely windy, more than other years, and last wet season was not very wet (previous years we have had much more rain). The Azuero Pennisula is considered a drier area of Panama and gets pretty brown during the dry season. Most plants seem to be indigenous to this area and survive. We do water our garden twice a week, but many don’t, and their plants are still growing.
    During the wet season, there is no need for watering the garden. When it rains, it really pours. But that might last a few hours each time and usually we have a few days between rains. Boquete and other areas are much different where they have rains daily.
    Fortunately, we have been without water for maybe a day (max), usually just a few hours. It has been said that Pedasi has 11 wells with plenty of water, but only 4 of them work. The water system is controlled by one governmental agency, Idaan, and they are not very efficient in repairing their system. Many others have their own well. We have a 100 gallon reserve tank plus two 25-gallon containers of water in case we have no water coming out of the faucets. But again we are fortunate. I have heard from other in other areas that they have been without water for a week or more at times, and water in brought in by trucks. It just depends on where you live. We just adjust to all this.

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