Common questions about food, climate, and culture are given a rest during the month of December. Instead people usually express their curiosity about Christmas. "What's Christmas like in Uganda?"
ANSWER: It's the same and it's really different.
That's the short version. It's the same because it celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ to the earth as a baby in Bethlehem. It's also similar as there are some traditions of this holiday, from developed nations, that are beginning to be copied. But, Christmas in Uganda is really different as well.
I was born and raised in a developed nation ... one that has been a primary leader in material prosperity. Nearly everything eventually turns into an economic opportunity. In terms of holiday celebrations, retail sales move from Back to School to Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to reap as much financial success as possible during the last four months of every year. Christmas decorations and traditions begin to stimulate the five senses nearly six weeks before Christmas day arrives. It truly is a season in the Western world.
|Pacific Ocean view from our balcony|
|With our first born Janelle|
All of what you have read to this point is simply background ... just an opening to transition to a personal sharing of our 2011 Christmas ... and to wish all of you, who are somehow connected to Next Generations Ministries, a Merry Christmas!
Our lives are not all about our work, although it's hard to draw lines of distinction sometimes since the foundation of our work is relational and follows the relational model of family.
|Second born, Stephanie, with husband Jethro|
|Our last born, Dawson, with his wife Anna|
|Grand kids out for coffee with Pam|
Merry Christmas to each of you as you celebrate it ... however you do ... and may God use you to discover and display the glory of Jesus in 2012!
Family Christmas 2011