People might be surprised that Christmas is a big holiday here. Santa is everywhere-Santa says "Christmas Merry" or even "Feliz Navidad." There are trees decorated, tinsel and glitter. I can't seem to get my pictures to upload but you might be surprised at what is here.
However, it is totally secular. There is little knowledge of the incarnation, that Immanuel has come with us. And that is sad.
We spent Christmas Eve at a local registered body. We sang, we watched a pageant performed and generally had a good time. At the end, something redemptive and wonderful happened.
Every Christmas, our daughter has had gold coins in her stocking. You've probably seen them-the coins in a mesh bag. It's a Dutch German thing. I saw them a few months ago at the foreign grocery store but didn't grab them. Lesson learned- if you want something and you see it, buy it!
Elisabeth was sad about not having them this year. She had even asked me that day if I had found any. Tradition is important when all your roots have been pulled up and everything is new.
So, as we were at the end of the service, they started to hand out candy. I looked back at what she was holding and there it was. A gold coin. A gold yuan-the old ancient Chinese money. She got her coin in a new form! It just was a wonderful reminder of a loving Father who cares for her.