Have you ever wondered how a missionary feels around the Holiday season? Are there specific things they struggle with or how do they celebrate in another country?
I recently asked around 20 of my missionary friends what it was like for them at Christmas time being on the foreign mission field. Here is what they said
- Living in a country where Christmas is not celebrated. No one knows it’s Christmas time.
- Living in a warm climate at Christmas time is just a tad weird
- Being so far away from family members
- No outside Christmas lights
- Black Friday just exists in the states 🙁 🙁
- Missing special Christmas festivities – such as Christmas plays, decked out malls and family functions.
- Getting out the special Christmas candles from the states that we have saved all year.
- Making New Family Traditions
- Doing your own Christmas play with your kids dressed up.
- Baking Christmas cooking and deliver them to the people we buy fruit from, our guard, our neighbors etc..
- Recyclable ornament making contest: All family members have to make an ornament from something that would otherwise be trash
- Go shopping with Santa Hats on, in a country where no one ever sees Santa Hats – FUN!
- Christmas games WITH the cousins back home by using Path or Facebook
- Homemade Christmas Decor
- Spending Christmas with New Believers in Christ – this really puts all that we are missing in perspective
- Calmness – no traveling 6 hours to Grandma’s house and then 10 hours to Aunt Sue’s house (though this can be sad as well)
- Quality Family time: time to actually bake in the kitchen with the children
- Teaching some of our traditions to our Church people – like a cookie decorating contest (they thought we were crazy at first, but came to love it)
- Learning and enjoying our Country’s Christmas traditions
- Blessing those that otherwise would never receive anything at Christmas with a few small gifts – really enjoy teaching our children this
- Netflix’s – We get to watch all the Christmas movies we want!
- Fireworks – Some countries really know how to make Christmas POP
- Lack of materialism that being away from America offers. Our kids seem to focus more on the real reason of Christmas when we are out of America
As you can see the list of Enjoyable things way out weighs the difficult. It’s amazing how God has adapted our hearts to each of our own country.
So what is your favorite Family tradition?
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