I try hard not to make too many comparisons while living here in Brasil. I try really hard not to say, "well, that's not the way we do it at my house", or, "well, in the United States we..." or, "well, if you ask my opinion...". But, let's be honest. I am an American. I was taught to make comparisons before I learned to walk. It wasn't like there was ever a "lesson" in it, but it was just ingrained in me. And, with the holiday season among us I have found myself making more comparisons than usual!! Not good or bad, just differences:). I figured I would share!
1) Not once have I heard someone say, "Happy Holidays". Well, of course Brasilians won't say "Happy Holidays", but I have not heard the Portuguese equivalent!! :). I have, however, heard many many "Feliz Natal" and "Feliz Ano Novo" well wishes recently!! Everyone knows that I personally am a big advocate for political correctness and "Happy Holidays" but it feels kind of fun to throw political correctness out the window while at the same time knowing that I would never have to worry about someone complaining that there is a "war on Christmas"!!! Of course, I also have yet to meet anyone in Brasil who is Jewish (they have to be here somewhere!) or who celebrates Kwanza (where are they!?!?!) so "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" are really our only two options. But, still.
2) Anyone who knows me knows how much I despise cold weather and snow!!! Sure, it is fun and pretty while it falls but if you know me and my driving skills you don't want me to be anywhere on the roads in snowy conditions. And, I hate to be cold!!! But, it just feels odd to have nativity scenes, Santa and Christmas trees when it is 90 degrees and I am at the beach. Something just isn't clicking for me. I can't quite reach that "holiday spirit" when I am dripping sweat. :)
3) One of the things I really disliked about Christmas in the states was all the commercialism. I don't like shopping and this time of the year was dreadful being anywhere near a mall. I never understood why my sweet well-meaning mother still insisted to fill an entire room with Christmas gifts for her grown children. And, I could not stand the pressure everyone feels to "find the perfect gift!". I love that I don't feel that here. We don't have a Christmas tree, there is not a big "to do" about gifts and it doesn't feel like everyone is stressed out with the pressures of the season. But, as much as I love this freedom from the commercialization of Christmas I feel as if something is missing. Sad but true.
4) What? We don't go to church on Christmas Eve? Not Christmas day either? We go on New Years Eve? Hmmmmmm... Not sure you will find me in the pews on New Years Eve.
5) I am missing all the holiday parties and YOU, but I am so glad to have my incredible Brasilian friends and be spending time with the amazing people of PRECE. We wish you peace, joy and love during this special time of the year.
And, don't forget... If you are still looking for that "last minute year end tax write-off" we can help!!! Haha!! But, really, I am serious!!! :) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.