Christmas is over, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on the holiday season in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s quite different than how I grew up and always take a little adjusting in my mind.
A couple of weeks ago, with a sweltering 90 something degrees outside, we had our staff Christmas party in South Africa. There was such irony in listening to tunes of chestnuts roasting over an open fire while making snowman ornaments. Creating a pile of water with a carrot, top hat, and scarf on top would have been more appropriate. Such is Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere.
This whole scene made me fully aware of just how much weather creates mind associations when it comes to holidays. When I’m in South Africa on December 25th, it never feels like Christmas, but I know if one of my African friends ventured to the Northern Hemisphere in December, they would say the same thing.
I like traditions, but they must be replaced if I’m going to survive a Summery Christmas.
Sipping hot chocolate in front of the open fire is replaced with slurping ice cold Appletizer
in front of the pool.
Beautiful Winter scarves are replaced with tank tops and swimsuit cover ups.
Baking is replaced with cold salads. No one wants to fire up the oven or even eat in this heat.
Gingerbread house creativity is replaced with creating fun outoor games. (Every gingerbread house we’ve done here lasts less than 24 hours before collapsing into a melted pile of sugar. Sadly, this was the first year we abandoned this tradition.)
We don’t count snowflakes. We count how many showers we took in one day. It’s the best way to cool off.
We don’t get cabin fever from staying indoors. We try to be outdoors as much as possible since our cooling system involves ceiling fans and open windows.
I am happy to report that Christmas day at our home this year was cooler than it was in my hometown in Texas. I was shocked but bubbling with joy. It put me in the mood to cook a big ole Christmas dinner enjoyed by 11 hungry mouths. This week, leading up to New Year’s, is teetering between sweltering hot and rains which cool it down to a bearable state.
I hope your holidays have been fabulous spending it with the people you love!
Here’s a look at what 2016 has looked like at Ten Thousand Homes. All I can say is “Wow,” and “Thank you!” Siyabonga!
Today in South Africa, we observe a national holiday called Day of Reconciliation. It was first celebrated as a public holiday today in 1995, and I love the intention behind it. After apartheid fell, this holiday was started with the intention to bring unity and reconciliation between the Afrikaaner and African cultures. While we still have a ways to go to get to true racial harmony, I love that today serves as a reminder of the goal we are striving for. Together, in unity, we can get there!
Today, I would also like to invite you to stand together with us, not just in heart but in action. In this season of giving, I’m asking 100 of my friends to donate $40 to a cause that I’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears for. Ten Thousand Homes is 11 years old and still going strong with after school programs, training programs, and social enterprises. There’s so much GOOD STUFF happening, but of course, as with everything, they take money to run.
The invitation is there, and I hope you will accept and join us in heart and action.
Visit our website to read more about what we do, and DONATE to a cause that continues to invest in a generation of world changers that is learning to grow up and bring unity and reconciliation to their land.
In October, I went to Kenya again. I visited the dump and met Lucy again. Her little encouragement to us in her simple home at the dump, nestled between trash and Marabou storks greatly inspired me, so much so that I wrote a piece, Africa’s Not Sad, Y’all, published on Petit Elefant. Please join me there and share your thoughts and comments!