This is our Christmas Card photo. :)
On Christmas Eve day I got lots of blogs written and pictures put up. I also started the packing process. I had to go to band practice at 11am (which actually started at 11:45am or so), and then had lunch with Marco. I also showed Marco his Christmas gift. He really like it. He is excited to put the painting up in his office when he has one eventually after this year of being in class. Elena still needs another week or so to finish it because she is going out of town. We will definitely have it before we move though. She is such an amazing artist. She only asked for 300 soles for it which is totally doable for me. I am beyond happy to have some of her art.
After lunch (that was super freaking long due to only two waiters serving at least 50 people), we headed to Santurantikuy which is the traditional art fair featuring pieces for the nativity scene. It is custom to make a big nativity scene and add to it every year. People dress their baby Jesus' up in different clothing and they also buy new animals to add to the nativity every year. Marco and I didn't make one because it didn't make sense to build a nativity when we are trying to move. The one at Claudio's apartment was cute and simple. Of course, Berta, his mom, complained that it wasn't that big this year. When we got home I made mashed sweet potato and took a nap. Marco took a two hour nap! We made our way over to Larapa (half an hour drive which seemed like a really long time but in reality isn't since Lima is going to be worse!). Marco and Claudio went to pick up the turkey from a local oven and Emily and Alexa proceeded to break a pyrex pan that had stuffing in it because they put it on a cold surface. Neither had seen an explosion like that and while Alexa thought it was cool Emily had to deal with Berta complaining about her pyrex breaking. Oh well, it is replaceable!
We all settled down to a huge turkey dinner (Thank you Peruvian Military!) with waldorf salad, potatoes, mashed sweet potato, apple sauce, sweet pork, and rice. It was most excellent and I am so happy for such a delicious meal. It was like Thanksgiving but late at night on Christmas Eve. I like the tradition only that turkey makes you sleepy and when you add red wine into the mix everyone is ready to pass out before midnight. Some people wait til midnight to pass out gifts but we didn't. Emily and Claudio got Marco and me a ceramic jug from Inkaria, a local bar that makes its own liquor. It has the face of a guinea pig as the spout so the drink comes out of its mouth. It's great and goes perfectly with our Cusqueñan dishware that we got as a wedding gift from my co-workers at Qantu. I gave Claudio a little devil angel playing the guitar and he loved it. He also loved the punk encyclopedia that Emily gave him.
After dinner we played Cranium. It was hilarious and the best part was Alexa, a friend of Emily's, trying to read/understand everything in Spanish. She was a sport and we had a great time.
After midnight when all the fireworks had almost finished, we headed over to Mayra's, Claudio's daughter's mother's, house and Claudio lit off fireworks with names such as Bin Ladin. Needless to say it made a huge bang and caused three different car alarms to go off. I was exhausted and didn't really feel like being too close to the fireworks. We said good-byes to everyone and headed home. It was a great Christmas Eve and even though I missed my family, I have Marco and he is my family. Claudio, Emily, and Carla are like family too! I had a great night.
Christmas day literally consisted of me packing up my life. I went to Qantu to pick up my stuff from my room but other than that I spent the day at home listening to Dr. Robert Greenberg lectures on Western Music. It was a productive day and since Marco was in service at work I was even more productive. I also had tasty leftovers to keep my stomach happy.
I have an absurd amount of things to do over the next few days. I tried to donate stuff to South American Explorers today but they were closed! That is so unfair. I definitely checked and it said they would be open on the 26th. Oh well. I dropped the donations off at Qantu and will bring them to the clubhouse tomorrow of Friday. I also need to pay my cell phone bill, get paid from Qantu, get a copy of my insurance and a duets book made, practice a ton with the band, close my bank account, pick up my boots, and finish packing the rest of the house.