11. tammi, 2018

In search of a white Christmas

The Caribbean ocean is glistening in the sun, and the white sandy beach is glowing in the heat. It’d be hard to believe that it’s Christmas Eve, if it wasn’t for the advent calendar I got from my baby sister; I’ve opened a little door every morning! There’s no hope of snow, so we’ll have to find our “white Christmas” from something else, like the fluffy clouds above, the foamy waves in the sea, the seashells on the beach or the pristine white feathers of the snowy egrets.

The bigger cities within the Yucatan Peninsula have definitely invested in festive decorations; the street lighgs have been prettied up with angels and bells, the shopping centres boast huge, sparkling Christmas trees, impressive nativity scenes have been put together on the plazas and countless Christmas lights switch on as soon as it gets dark. Here, in the small fishing village of Aquada, Christmas decoration is left more to individual choice. The “Freedom Shores” campsite has recently received some more guests, a couple of groups from Germany, one from Canada, one from France and another one from the U.S. and we all decorate our campers to our taste. We wrap Epeli in tinsel, lights and baubles and light a few lanterns. The warm breeze from the sea is too strong for us to use real candles though, so we’re left to create the ambience with the help of electrics.

It’s not really Christmas without our loved ones, so 2,5h of Skype with family goes by really fast. We’re so fortunate to have these people in our lives! The numerous greetings from friends via text and social media mean a lot to us too, now that we’re this far away from them all. Our Christmas pressies from Finland reveal some thoughtful gifts, the films, magazines and confectionary found in the wrappers will keep us going for a long time!

Since I have no access to an oven, pork chops will have to do in place of the usual ham. There’s no chance of us making the veggie dishes either, but the substitute; potato and carrot mash isn’t at all bad, so as we finish our meal with some minty gingerbread men and Christmas tea, we can almost fool ourselves into thinking that we’ve eaten an actual Christmas dinner.

We’ve heard that in America, Santa comes in to each house through the chimney. We too, receive an unexpected visitor! We hear a sudden thump from the roof and assume that a tree branch might have fallen on the car. Pekka climbs up the ladder to check it out, when a large, green Iguana jumps back off the roof to a neighbouring tree, where it stays for the evening, becoming our Christmas eve entertainment! Although the llizard doesn’t come with a Christmas hat, it’s bright red dewlap does pop up under his neck when we get too close!

We sit on the beach and listen to Christmas music as the night grows dark and the stars light up above the ocean. “O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear saviours birth..” sounds out of the laptop’s speakers clear as day, and then it hits me; the deepest message of Christmas isn’t tied to a place, climate or surroundings. The baby in the manger has been born!