Merry Christmas!

Paraguayan Manger Scene

A typical manger scene from Paraguay.

for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.

(Luke 2:30-32, ESV [show]Luke 2:30-32 [30]for my eyes have seen your salvation [31]that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32]a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel."
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
)

I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The year that just passed was a difficult one, but the Lord granted us His love, comfort and wonderful provision in all times. More than anything, I have seen the Nunc Dimitis (Simeon’s song, Luke 2:29-32 [show]Luke 2:29-32 [29]"Lord, now you are letting your servant(1) depart in peace, according to your word; [30]for my eyes have seen your salvation [31]that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, [32]a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel." Footnotes 1. [2:29] Greek 'bondservant'
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
) become a reality in my life.

On Christmas Eve we had generally a good time. Since my father in law passed last June, we had to spend the traditional Christmas Eve dinner with my in-laws. We ended up having a wonderful time, not exempt of tears, of course, but all in all it was full of gratitude and joy for the gift of Christ’s presence among humanity.

Later, we had some hectic times since one of my sisters married on Sunday, December 27. It was a beautiful time, only that it was too hot, even for a late evening. Our clothes were drenched. But we were very happy.

Then, we spend the New Year’s Eve dinner with Mom and my other sister (the married one was too busy in her honeymoon ;) ). It was a peaceful time, and that allowed me to think long and hard about the blessings that God granted us along the year.

I hope you had a wonderful time these holidays, and may God grant you peace, hope, forgiveness, and happiness.

5 responses

  1. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, Eduardo! Watermelons and Christmas… boy, that seems odd from up here on the Northern half of the world.

    What do your Christmas cards look like, just out of curiosity? I was amused to find out from a family friend who lives in New Zealand that they use snow scenes even though they probably also could have watermelons.

  2. Tim: thank you. Watermelons, pineapples and grapes are a fixture in every Paraguayan manger scene worth its salt. That’s why I put that picture — the watermelons were so prominent. Watermelons start to appear by early or mid-November, and can be had till early February. That’s why it is regarded as a Christmas-like fruit down here.

    Regarding the Christmas cards, they are nice. Some depict the usual snow scenes associated with the Northern European – North American Christmas (together with St. Nick and the reindeers thrown in for good measure). A great deal of them depict the Magi in their journey to worship the Lord Jesus. And, finally, a great deal of them depict typical Paraguayan rural scenes with a Christmas air on them. I will try to get some, scan them, and post them on the blog so you can appreciate them.

  3. Thanks, Eduardo! That’s interesting, and if it isn’t too much trouble, I’d be happy to see the cards (but don’t go out of the way). Watermelon at Christmas sounds like a good tradition. Maybe I need to see about mail order. ;)

  4. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, too, Eduardo! Watermelons and Christmas… boy, that seems odd from up here on the Northern half of the world.

    What do your Christmas cards look like, just out of curiosity? I was amused to find out from a family friend who lives in New Zealand that they use snow scenes even though they probably also could have watermelons.

  5. Bruce: Thank you very much!

    Here you can find the usual, snow-themed Christmas cards; but you can also find more “summer” themed ones. A popular motif is a manger scene with Mary and Joseph featured as Paraguayan country peasants, and baby Jesus usually in a hammock (because hammocks are used as cradles in the countryside).

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