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Surviving Riyadh

How I Spent Christmas In Costa Rica

How I Spent Christmas In Costa Rica


I was invited to spend Christmas with the family of Christ, a Costa Rican lady. She, her sister Karina, and I drove to a place to pick up the food they ordered for dinner.

We then drove to their mother’s house. I met her mother, prior to this meeting and she came over and hugged me. She is a very friendly lady. Another sister with her baby were there too. We unloaded the food to the table.

Her mother went back to her tasks preparing the food and the table. I watched the family curiously as they converted two folded narrow tables into a big one. They covered the table with beautiful red cloth and placed candles arranged in a rounded green crown at the center. Their mother made a comment that I was the only visitor who saw how the table was transformed.

One of the sisters started putting plates, utensils, glasses, etc. on the table. Someone prepared the drinks while another took care of the music. Gifts were wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. Their father and the in-laws started arriving with gifts. It was the first time I met their father.

Soon it was time for dinner. Everyone gathered at the table. Their mother led the prayer. I helped passed the plates as their mother transferred a piece of meat to the plates. Each recipe was passed around for each to take his/her portion. Someone said something and everyone started laughing. Although I didn’t know what the joke was about, I had fun just watching them. Dinner was delicious.

Then it was time to distribute the gifts. One by one each  stood up to distribute his/her gifts. We all received gifts. The baby received lots of them. I got one from Christ. I brought wines for dinner and it was considered my gift to the family.

After the distribution of gifts, the table was cleared. Each family started leaving. Soon there were just the three of us left, Christ, her mother and I. We left at 11 p.m. It was indeed a unique experience for me.



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