Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Visions of Sugarplums….South African Style

President Wheeler and I had a wonderful Christmas Eve Day.  In the morning we shopped and assembled several food packages to be delivered to ward members.  The missionaries were our elves so we were able to keep our gifts anonymous.  We spent the afternoon visiting ward members.  We learned more about some Christmas traditions in South Africa. Since most of our members entire homes are no bigger than a bedroom in your home, they have no room to store Christmas decorations.  Each year between Christmas and New Year's they paint their homes a different color to get in the festive mood.  Most families gather together on Christmas day and have a Braai (BBQ), play games, eat sweet treats that they usually do not have, and enjoy each others company.  Not many gifts are exchanged.  They enjoy the gift of family.

When we visited the members in the afternoon, we asked them if they sang Christmas Carols.  That is not one of their traditions.  We told them about Christmas Caroling in America and then we sang to them.  They thought it was pretty funny.  

President Wheeler invited me to a lovely buffet for a Christmas Eve dinner.  We drove about 30 kilometers (are you impressed that I know my kilometers) to a resort called "Fish River Sun".  We got there just as the sun was setting.  We were able to watch some monkey's playing on the roof before we went in to dinner.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner.  We will take you all there when you come to visit.
 For our Chrismas Eve entertainment we were serenaded with this talented pianist playing traditional American Christmas Carols.  Her skill on the piano was excellent.  She did sing a few song  That was interesting.
We found at Fish River Sun the most American Christmas Tree we had seen so far this year…and the tallest!

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