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Christmas in the TROPICS

I'm dreaming of a green Christmas...and why not? After all, Christmas trees are green and so are our palm trees. Wreaths are green and so is every mountain side. Maybe Costa Rica can't offer a white Christmas but it sure can offer a very green Christmas. Costa Ricans take their Christmas very seriously, decorations going up mid-November and everyone starts filling up with the urge to start vacations for the Christmas holiday.

The Christmas season here actually marks the beginning of summer, which after almost 7 months of rainy season, gets everyone in the holiday spirit. It is also when schools are out for summer, allowing families to take vacations together. Christmas trees can be found on the roadsides, and in some hardware and big grocery stores. And many expats can join local toy drives to help out families in need.

If you thought tamales were exclusively Mexican, you might be surprised to know that as far as tradition goes, Costa Ricans all over the country can be found in the early weeks of December picking banana leaves to take home to make tamales. Family members come together to make it a festive tradition making this holiday meal.

All in all, Costa Rica may not offer the typical white Christmas, but what it does offer are amazing sunsets, warm ocean waters, waterfalls, tropical flora and fauna, and a different kind of Christmas spirit.

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