Christmas at Casa Lucia

"Are you sad to be spending Christmas away from home?" Everyone has asked me since I found out I'd be spending December here. And yes, of course I'm a little sad! Of course I would rather be at home hanging out with my family! I love my family! My family is awesome! I miss them!

Christmas in Granada, Nicaragua

But you know, getting a job teaching one of your favorite things in a pretty cool place doesn't come around every month, so even when I found out that month was going to be enveloping December 25th, I had to say yes. It's my first time being away from home at this time of year, but it makes me happy to be in a country where the holidays are a pretty big deal. I still get to see lights, Christmas trees, and other decorations in the streets. Eloisa and Danilo have added some sweet little touches around the hotel, too.

I'd always rather be spending Christmas Eve and Day eating pierogi, watching A Christmas Story six times, and catching up with the loved ones I don't get to see very often, but the rest of the month hasn't been so bad. We're working by the pool and playing in the sun-- if it weren't for the ornaments, we might not have known it was winter at all!

La Nica Navidad

Christmas celebrations are already in full swing in Granada! The neighbors have been setting off fireworks all day and night in the street since before I arrived, and there seems to be no end in sight. December is filled with preparations and processions, and most of the celebrated images are not of Jesus or Santa Claus, but of the Virgin Mary, whose statue has been paraded up and down every street in town. Her image is everywhere, and there it will remain until December 24th, That's the day that Christmas happens here. The 25th is just another day.

Dancers in Granada, Nicaragua
Bajada de la Virgen en Granada, Nicaragua

I'm sure being away from New York for the first time will make me a little homesick, but I'm looking forward to seeing all the holiday fanfare from a different cultural perspective. I only wish I had more room in my suitcase for the Santa piƱatas they've been selling in the central square!

Christmas in Granada, Nicaragua