Our First Holiday Season in Argentina

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Although this is our second season in Argentina, this was our first Christmas here since we arrived just after the holidays last year. While I am a warm weather lover for sure, spending the holidays in 100 degree heat is a bit surreal. Considering that we are from New York and Boston, we are certainly used to the cold, and having spent the better part of the last 10 years in cold places (Germany being the worst) we pretty much expect a frigid, if not white, Christmas.

Christmas in Turkey had been the mildest, but even there we wore light winter coats, and when we lived near Istanbul it was occasionally frosty and actually snowed once.

This year it’s like all bets are off and it’s blowing my mind. It was over 100 degrees on Christmas eve and Christmas day. We spent Christmas eve swimming in the pool, which is the only way we know to beat the heat, and then put on summer dresses and shorts for Christmas dinner.

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We had a lovely time, despite the face of the angry toddler

We are lucky that despite the extreme heat, we are in a very Catholic country that loves to celebrate Christmas, which was missing during our years in Turkey. But here it seems as if every tree in the city has been decorated with lights, and shop owners, private citizens, and street vendors decorate and celebrate.

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Some parts of the city are lit up twice as much as this, but this is the main street closest to our house

The city even set up a beautiful manger scene and a sky high Christmas tree of lights on the coast.

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It’s a strange feeling to walk around sweating buckets during the holiday season. I almost feel like for Christmas to come, we must be bundled up and tramping through the snow. I had to explain to the kids that Santa does indeed show up with reindeers in tow and that he wouldn’t actually melt under the weight of his ridiculously heavy suit.

We’re nearing the point where my kids are just too smart for us to maintain this crap, but I’ll keep it going, as ridiculous as it may seem in these circumstances, in order to maintain their innocence and sense of whimsy.

As for our other Christmas traditions, we do miss that distinctive pine smell of a having a real tree, but being able to decorate any tree and seeing those happy faces on Christmas morning is priceless wherever we may be.

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This year the league had a Christmas break, which isn’t always the case because in many countries the guys have had practice or games on Christmas day, so this was very welcome break. It didn’t make sense to spend $7k for us to travel home for the week, but we were able to celebrate the New Year in Corrientes, a beautiful city 2 1/2 hours away. It’s just as hot, but they have a beach, a mall with a bowling ally, and a bigger city center than us, so definitely worth the drive. It’s the little things!

We were able to bring the whole family to a New Years party (“the ball” as the kids called it) at the hotel we stayed at and it was magical! It was the kids first big party and it was the perfect way to ring in the new year.

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from the Francis family!

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