The Middle of the World at Christmas

Something a little different today but if you’re wondering how it relates to the blog theme of sisters and sanity, let me assure you it does. Specifically to sanity and especially to mine. I’ve categorized this under self-care which is an area where so many caregivers go wrong. They forget to do it. Or they tell themselves, they couldn’t possibly. That it would be wrong even unforgivable to, as in my case, leave their family member alone. I believe in telling myself the truth. Jerri will be okay. She is not really alone. Telecare, Bryce, Brian are there if she needs assistance. She also has Catherine and Bronwyn, friends in her building, and, of course, Kiki, the bird.

Stan and I are in Cuenca, Ecuador for Christmas. We are doing something we love: traveling and experiencing other cultures. This is one of the ways I feed my soul. Today I feel so . . . full. There is nothing that compares to spending a holiday in another country – nothing! It is particularly healthy for me. Christmas at home makes me sad. I am no longer invited to my family’s festivities and even if I was, I wouldn’t feel right about excluding Jerri which has been the norm for decades. So Christmas in the states is complicated for me. But Christmas in Cuenca is simple, exhilarating, festive, a huge celebration – exactly what Christmas should be.

Last night I could see fireworks out our hotel window. Fireworks to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Now why didn’t I think of that?!

Cuenca is known in this country for its huge Christmas parade which is called Pase Del Niño Viajero, a children’s parade honoring the traveling infant Jesus. In the early 1960’s a statue of baby Jesus was taken to Rome to be blessed by the Pope and upon its return, it was paraded through the streets. Today, there are many floats dedicated to scenes from Jesus life, also children dressed as Spaniards, wealthy colonialists, Roman soldiers, angels, gypsies (no idea), Mary and Joseph, wise men, shepherds, natives from the Amazon and Incan civilizations, and quite a few Santas. Smurfette and Papa Smurf also made an appearance. I guess there’s no telling who will show up for the children’s parade. I even saw Satan but decided not to waste any pixels on him.

Many of the floats, and I use that term loosely, feature Christmas dinner, the actual pig, chicken, or guinea pig (and I don’t mean alive) which will be eaten later. Dinner is usually quite well dressed – I saw a chicken with earrings and a ribbon around it’s neck. Keep in mind the parade lasts 6 hours. Yum!

Here are some of my favorite memories.

Look closely at the pig on the back of this young girl’s horse. That’s a Budweiser in its mouth!

Children attending the parade can get a picture taken with Santa Paws! I love a country who loves its dogs. Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!



13 Comments on “The Middle of the World at Christmas”

  1. solesister says:

    Hope you are continuing to have fun!

  2. Susan says:

    Cool. Miss you. Glad you are having fun. And, I also liked the word “revels” for travels. 🙂

  3. Denise Anderson says:

    It sounds like you and Stan are having a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the photos, I loved looking through them. I’m glad you’re taking the time to celebrate Christmas in a way that’s a blessing to you instead of staying home and being sad.

  4. cathyalford says:

    Merry Christmas to you my friend!! I hope you and Stan enjoy your revels. Thanks for sharing a piece of the beautiful parade with us.

      • Revels works too!!! The parade or processional, as the Cuencans call it, was really special. I learned today that yesterday’s was the 50th such processional which may explain why it was so big and lasted so long! You would have loved it. Miss you and am looking forward to our adventure in March. Say hello to Spudman for me!

  5. solesister says:

    What a great way to feed your soul!!! Love the pictures and the commentary. It truly says what the season is all about! Enjoy your well deserved time away and know that all at home will be fine! Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad and Prospero Ano!

  6. Wonderful pictures! Have a great time!

    • Hi Renee! I took over 100 shots today but these are my favorites. Really gives you a flavor of what we’re experiencing. I’m working from an iPad and had some trouble getting them into the blog – they are a bit jumbled but will just have to do. Merry Christmas and don’t stay up too late. Santa won’t come if you aren’t asleep!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your post. I really enjoy reading these. Merry Christmas and kudos for taking care of yourself!

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