Christmas in Costa Rica

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a child is given:" Isaiah 9:6

October begins the Christmas preparations here in Costa Rica. Walk through the stores and you see ornaments for sale. Christmas trees, lights, and gift wrapping begin to appear everywhere you go. Unlike the States, it begins at the end of November because neither Halloween nor Thanksgiving are celebrated here (sad, because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays).

Christmas Day is celebrated with families having a late dinner around 8 p.m. The aromas of Costa Rican tamales, rice with Chicken or pork, and roasted pork loin fill the homes. Additionally, the tables are loaded with green salads, potato salad, Costa Rican pastries, and Christmas cake. Beverages are a type of egg nog and, of course, coffee!

More important than the food is the time people cherish with families. Gifts are also brought to the homes. At midnight they receive Christmas and open the gifts. Since the main religion is Catholic, they say a prayer to baby Jesus. Parents tell the children that baby Jesus brings the gifts and they thank Him.

by Nichol Mejia, Missionary to Costa Rica