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Saturday, November 29, 2014

South African Christmas!

Well I've been thinking about Christmas as a missionary on the other side of the world and in some ways it was different than what I was used to, and in some ways it was pretty much the same.
South Africa is in the southern hemisphere so Christmas comes during the middle of the summer, which is pretty much like Christmas in San Diego! I asked a South African friend I keep in contact with what common Christmas traditions are and what he said did't surprise me. He said that they don't have many but they always like a good "braai" (BBQ) on Christmas! So typical. A lot of what the members and people down there did was very similar to what we normally do. I remember there was a big Christmas party at the church that we as missionaries tried to invite as many investigators and recent converts and other members to. My companion and I made boring cookies (not fancy Christmas treats that my mom would always make) and we delivered them to members in the ward and us, along with other missionaries would sing Christmas carols to them! People just relax and visit family and enjoy the holiday. One of the only differences is that they don't call Santa Clause, Santa Clause, they call him "Father Christmas" which was weird to me. And most of the people we visited lived in humble circumstances so there were rarely any decorations in their homes or Christmas lights anywhere. As for food on Christmas, turkey, vegetables, mince pies, yellow rice and plum pudding for dessert would be considered a normal South African Christmas dinner. To say Merry Christmas in Afrikkans is "Gese├źnde Kersfees!" and in Xhosa its "Krisimesi emnandi!"
That's really all the things that I came up with. I hope it helps and that this activity goes well! -Dusty Haws

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