Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas in Banja Luka...

After the jam-packed Christmas fun that was the Canadian Christmas experience last year, this year I had a very different Christmas in Banja Luka. Here they celebrate the Orthodox Christmas (7th of January), so the 25th is just like any other day here.

We were trying to find a time to take the children who were actors in our Christmas play bowling as a "thank-you"... and the only day we could find was Christmas day! And so, when asked what I did for Christmas this year, my answer will be "I went 10-pin bowling"!! It was really fun and the kids (ok and me as well!)  had a wonderful time!!
Now, after spending the first 26 years of my live celebrating Christmas in summer, I have discovered over my 16 years in Bosnia, that there is real joy in putting up Christmas decorations and especially lights when celebrating Christmas in a cold climate, with long dark evenings. So, I put up the tree in early December:
And put up our nativity scenes (and only just noticed that Santa was also somehow present at the birth of Jesus!):
And so it was easy on Christmas day to make up the table so everything was ready when we had guests over after the bowling! Complete with Christmas crackers imported from South Africa :) (and a crackling log fire on the TV - something my dad used to do in South Africa as we didn't need an actual fire :) ) And the best part of it being a normal day - we could order Christmas dinner in!! (although I did make desert.)
So, I had an unusual, but really fun Christmas Day. It started off in the right spirit - with a church service - where we sang Christmas carols (translated) and reminded ourselves what Christ's humble birth means for us today!!

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