Here comes that time of the year when my Facebook home page starts to get filled with pictures of Christmas trees, red Santa hats, and the first snow.
I see you’re all flying back home to spend the holidays with your families and loved ones, I see the events you’ll be attending to celebrate 2017 and I read about your New Year’s resolutions.
Sometimes, even though I don’t want to admit it, I start to feel jealous. I feel nostalgic because this year I will not be flying back home for Christmas, I will not be exchanging presents wrapped in colorful paper, nor will I sit with my family on the 24th.
But then I look outside the window of my wooden room, and it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.
How can it feel like Christmas, if there are 22 degrees outside? So the nostalgia fades away, and I pretend it’s not the 15th of December, but some random summer day. Some day when I don’t have to miss my family and home, but when I’m, as usual, excited about this great adventure I’m living.
There are, though, moments when I do realize that Christmas is coming, even to Peru. I do see some street lights and decorations here and there, but most of all, chocolatadas are happening.
A chocolatada is a social event, a meeting before the school break, an excuse to drink a cup of hot chocolate, eat a slice of panettone and wish each other happy holidays.
I went back to the Hogar Santa Dorotea, the center for children with special needs in Baños del Inca. The kids’ faces, always smiling, were once more lit up with happiness.