New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

New post from missionary Erin Mackenzie

Christmas in July

Posted: 05 Jul 2020 04:23 PM PDT

I’ve never understood the notion of “Christmas in July.” I think it’s mainly another reason for retailers to have sales, as if they need one, but why not Christmas in June, which would be exactly six months from December?  Never mind, though . Yesterday, July 4, day 109 (I haven’t decided when to stop counting yet…), was a Red, White, and Blue Christmas Extravaganza for a group of missionary friends & I in Santiago. 
Family photo
It goes without saying that our hosts, the Warrens, had decked their halls and had Christmas music playing all day. First up: brunch, highlighted by mimosas and homemade cinnamon rolls. Then, Elf. It’s funny how missionary life changes your perspective; I’d never thought about Buddy’s first experiences in New York City in terms of culture shock!

Next: a gift exchange. Having drawn names at a spaghetti dinner at my house last week, each of us had to source a gift for someone using things we already had on hand – NO buying ANYTHING. I made Courtney a brown sugar body scrub, and Blake gave me a nerdy book about Microsoft Excel that he’s been telling me I should read pretty much since I got here. 
Jo raided the Warren pantry to make the ultimate snack box for Kate…

…and got an adorable sock bunny filled with rice from Courtney. 
A late lunch was next on the schedule: hamburgers and hot dogs coming right up! Way too many Christmas cookies for dessert meant napping or otherwise lazing about until it was time to pause the celebration for church. 
There’s a presidential election today in the Dominican, so all DRLM congregations held Divine Service yesterday afternoon as a precaution against protests or demonstrations that would make being on the streets an unnecessary risk. I know admittedly little about Dominican politics, other than that the current president has exhausted his term limit so our head of state will turn over no matter what, and that, even if the same party remains in power, no department is immune from sweeping job changes. I’ve learned a little bit about the slate of candidates from other, wiser missionaries, and, as 1 Timothy 2:1-2 bids Christians do, I’ll pray a lotta bit for whomever is elected. 
Last night, we reconvened for the second showing in the day’s double feature: Descendants 3. Watching Descendants 2 was one of the last things we did together before sheltering in place began; part 3 of the saga hasn’t been released on Netflix, so the day when we could come together again to see what happened next had been long-awaited. I’m deeply thankful for friends who need no excuse to get together but will wear Christmas socks when it’s 95 degrees out with you all the same!
Until next time, blessings!