Baby it’s cold outside: Christmas in Ethiopia

It’s January 6th and I’m still listening to my Christmas mix. It’s strange because this is the least Christmas-y Christmas I’ve had and yet I’m constantly reminded that it’s the holiday season – tomorrow is the Ethiopian Christmas and all the hotels/shops are decked out with decorations.

This year I’m missing out on making snow angels, sipping hot cocoa by the fire, and looking for the pickle on the tree, but I replaced those things with some pretty great new traditions.

The weekend before Christmas we treated ourselves to a resort day at the Haile to celebrate a friend’s birthday. That evening we went down to the lake for some fresh fish.


The following day was Christmas Eve and to get in a festive mood, we decided to make paper snowflakes. Some of the ladies had been perfecting this craft over the previous weeks and I was sufficiently jealous of some of their snowflake-making skills.


And then came time for the chicken killing…we perfected the act on the second chicken, my apologies to the first. I grew a little attached to them that afternoon, luckily I didn’t try naming them! Everyone said they were quite tasty.


But I know what you’re thinking…you don’t eat chicken. You’re right, I don’t. But we had plenty of other delicious side items: wild rice soup, salad, glazed carrots, mashed sweet potatoes, and seasoned potatoes. Followed by dessert: chocolate pecan pie. Plenty of food to go around.


We woke up Christmas morning, cleaned the kitchen we had annihilated the night before and then opened our Secret Santa gifts. The 5 birr limit was brilliant and I got a hand-painted pot containing freshly planted cilantro and some memorable photos.


Then we spent the afternoon at the hot springs before getting all dolled-up for dinner at the lodge.


After some awkward family photos…we settled down for a great meal. An Italian buffet, what could be more Christmas-y than that : )


The food was great, the company was great. It was a Christmas to remember.


After dinner, we went home and our “Very Shittie Christmas” really began. For those of you not in the know, we’re wearing our fabulous shitties in the following photo.


All the way from Ethiopia, MERRY CHRISTMAS : ) Hope yours was as memorable as mine!


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