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It’s almost Christmas and we’ve been watching the neighborhood get ready for the holidays. Decorations are not that extensive, though the city has installed a tableau including Santa along one street, and there’s a Christmas tree on the beach. Until the last weekend before Christmas there wasn’t much decoration. On the weekend, though, booths selling toys, panettone, and fruit wine set up along a long stretch of downtown street. On the Monday before Christmas the stalls were in high gear offering everything pink, everything dinosaur and superhero themed. The food market was crowded and the grocery store was mobbed.

Outside the main food market, holiday specialties were on offer, including live guinea pigs, and turkeys, killed and plucked while you wait. We watched a young man try to get a live turkey to stand on a scale so that he could calculate the price (it was 8 kilos at s/. 12 per kilo). The turkey didn’t pay any attention to his entreaties to hold still….

We did our last shopping on the 23rd, enjoying the guy singing in the market, the stalls selling decorations, and the “fair” selling all kinds of toys.

We are enjoying the holiday now that our family has arrived. Yesterday they all went out to eat ceviche at El Cangrejo restaurant, where they found a lady Santa and a Santa Crab. Why not!

It is a lot of fun to have our children around. They are helping make all kinds of delicious things to eat, like the buche de noel that Lillian and I made.

Jonathan baked his own panettone. Though these yeast breads originated in Italy, they are extremely popular in Peru and we have never much liked the flavors. This year Jonathan decided to bake his own and on Christmas Eve we’ll find out whether we like it.

Where to buy the stable for all your Christmas figurines.

I’ve accumulated a lot of Christmas figurines. Technically, these are part of a “nacimiento” or creche, or Nativity scene. I like all the animals, and this year decided to go all out and get a stable to stage my scene. At this time of year there are stores that stock the prefab stables, so I picked out a good one and filled it up right away.

Our family Christmas scene

We bought a Norfolk pine for a Christmas tree because we have two of these in the back yard already. After the holidays we will plant it. It’s on the skinny side, and doesn’t matter very much that decorations are scanty.

We are ready for the holidays! Happy Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy New Year!