We arrived in Ecuador last year on December 11th. After spending a few days in Quito we came to San Clemente with our good friends, Wayne and Jan and stayed at their home right on the beach for a few weeks before we could find a place of our own.
With all of the travel and having no roots, we did not have time to decorate for Christmas last year. But this year I noticed a glimmer in Mary’s eye somewhere around the end of October as she looked at some early Christmas announcements and by the time the Hogar store (something like a Bed Bath and Beyond) started putting out Christmas decorations I could see that Mary was well into Christmas decorating mode.
The Hogar store is upscale and has prices that are generally outside of our limited budget. We have not seen any stores like the large lot craft stores we frequented in the U.S. and for a time it looked like Christmas decorations might be too expensive. But, where there is a will there is a way!
We found a nice tree at a reasonable price and got some ornaments, a string of lights, and some red and gold colored tinsel. I managed to fasten a star to the top and Mary got some fabric for a tree skirt and we are very happy with our little arbor de navidad!
The wreaths (coronas) that we found in the stores were quite expensive, so Mary had me buy some wire and we created some frames for our own wreaths.
We had so much fun making the wreaths that Mary decided to make some for gifts for some of our Ecuadorian friends that live close to us.
And an special “designer’s” wreath for our dear friend Jeanne – an elegant lady’s birthday gift.
Mary also got even more creative and created a wreath using sand dollars for ornaments to fit our beach decor
and hung that up on the sea-shell evergreen garland by our kitchen window.
All in all – on a limited budget, we have managed to create a Christmas atmosphere here in 80 degree San Clemente.
Our friends love their wreaths and have hung them at their homes. Christmas is still nearly three weeks away, but the spirit of joy and giving already fills our home.
Live is good in Ecuador!
Written by John