Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Five List: Christmas Week Edition

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity. 

My family joined my husband, the kids and myself in El Salvador to spend Christmas with his family.  It was a busy, crazy week that left little time for sightseeing, but getting everyone together over the holidays is something that may not happen again for a long time to come.  In addition to my husband's siblings, all the cousins flew in this year as well.  For a family spread out over many countries, including Canada, the United States, Colombia, Mexico and Bolivia, getting everyone together in one place is no small feat.  My husband hasn't spent Christmas with all of his family since 1996, so this was a big deal. 

There will be a few posts over the next little while, but for tonight, five memorable moments will suffice.

1- Abuelo's 90th Birthday Party:  The night we arrived was the birthday party for my husband's grandfather (Abuelo, in Spanish).  Family and friends gathered at his Aunt's house for the party, and it was the first opportunity for our youngest son, 4 months, to meet his great-grandfather.  To say that it was a special moment would be an understatement. 
My husband, our youngest son, and his great-grandfather

2- The Wedding:  My brother-in-law, Jaime, got married the next day.  Weddings tend to be in the evening in El Salvador, and we went straight from the church to the reception being held at the hotel where we were staying.  My husband and I carried the rings, and our oldest son walked down the aisle with us.  It was an honour to be a part of his special day, especially since "Tio Jaime" is my son's favourite person in the world. 

The happy couple and our son

3- Christmas:  My husband's grandmother invited everyone over to her house for Christmas Eve celebrations.  More than 30 people descended upon her house for an evening of fireworks, food and the opening of gifts.  Setting off fireworks is a tradition there, and they go off all through the night, with everyone lighting their own.  It was nice to have my parents and my in-laws spend Christmas together.  Great-grandma put together a lovely speech before dinner, commemorating 4 generations celebrating together under one roof.

My husband's grandmother, reading  her Christmas speech

4- Family Vacation: The last time we took a family vacation with my parents and my sister, aside from the cottage, was in 2006, when my husband and I got married.  It was also great to be able to show my family where my husband is from and to let them get to know his country of birth a little bit.  He's been in Canada for a long time, and sometimes it's easy to forget that he wasn't born here.  This gave my family a chance to get to know his extended family and his culture a bit better.

On top of San Salvador volcano.  Yes, it's active.  And apparently overdue for an eruption.

5- Fun in the Sun and Introducing the Next Generation: Getting away when the weather is cold is always nice, and it was fun watching the kids play at the beach.  We spent Christmas day at a relative's beach house.  We realised when we got back to Canada that the baby saw the ocean before he saw snow.  I didn't see the ocean until I was 18 years old, but who's keeping track?
Along with frolicking on the beach, we got to introduce our baby, Xavier, and our nephew, Santiago, to each other.  They're only 6 weeks apart.  You can tell the Canadian one, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt without socks on, and the Salvadoran one, in long sleeves, a blanket and a hat, on a "cold" evening!

I never get tired of this view

Cousins!  One looks ready for the beach, the other looks prepped for winter!


  1. Hi Kathleen, just came across your blog and thought I'd send you a note! Sounds like a wonderful and whirlwind vacation :)

    I really like your blog, and it sounds like we have some similarities. My blog is Celiac Kiddo, created when my daughter was diagnosed at 3 (she's now 4.5). I also used to write book reviews, and still do from time to time :) Hope you and your family have a lovely new year!

    1. Hi Dana,

      Thanks for the comment. I was reading some of your blog and it looks like we do have some things in common! Looking forward to reading more.

      Have a wonderful new year!