The Christmas season in Costa Rica

It’s now December. Any of you who have been following my Twitter feed know that Costa Rica not only started preparing for Christmas back in September, but that I’ve had a few problems comprehending that it’s actually the Christmas season now. (The “Christmas season”, at least as I define it, is the month of December. No earlier, no later.)

I’m having trouble comprehending this for one simple reason: I’m still wearing shorts and sandals.  

I’m Canadian. Always have been, always will be. Should Canada ever been overrun by the US military in a land grab for resources (let’s just say that while highly unlikely, I could see it happening) and I have to live abroad as a Canadian in exile, I’ll still be Canadian.  

Even though I now live in Costa Rica, I’m still a Canadian. And being Canadian means a white Christmas (you may recall that when I lived in Vancouver, I had an issue with the lack of snow). As I sit here, typing all of this out, I look out my sliding glass door to swaying palm trees, a gushing fountain, and a large hill of green trees.  

It doesn’t matter that we’ve been listening to classic Christmas music all morning. It doesn’t matter that there are (fairly gaudy) decorations on the lamp posts around our condo complex to make it more “Christmas-y”, or that nearly half of the units have huge, brightly lit (and presumably fake) Christmas trees. The problem is that it’s not cold.  

It’s warm.  

Too warm.  

(Or as Jason rather infamously said many times in our pre-Spanish class stage, it’s el warmo.)  

Christmas isn’t warm. It’s just not. I’m having trouble coming to terms with this. Especially since all of our decorations were left behind in Canada. Alex can’t make any Christmas goodies either, owing to an inability to find either molasses (every store she’s checked either doesn’t carry it, or is out) or icing sugar. That means no gingerbread, no shortbread.  

There’s a lot of broken hearts here, people.  

Ironically, we won’t be here for Christmas day. We’re going north. So this year won’t be totally lost on us. But down here? Even though there are lights on many homes, decorations abound in some strange places, you can’t get past the point that it’s tropical. For Ticos, this is (assumedly) normal.

For this Canuck… it’s just another adjustment.

2 Replies to “The Christmas season in Costa Rica”

  1. We’ve got snow in spades in Calgary this year Geoff! The 2 cm or so they were forecasting for Saturday turned into close to 20! Everything – trees, fences, (dogs if they stand still long enough) is covered and looking Christmasy for the first time in years.

    Sorry you’re not here to share it!

  2. Yeah, Alex was chatting with a friend of hers over Skype and we were AMAZED at the amount of snow. It was like watching Shaw at Christmas when it’s just the burning logs.

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