Today is Christmas Day here in Panama, as it is throughout the rest of the world. We have followed the build up to this special day, here in the tropics and find that the commercializing of Christmas is present here in a big way. Halloween is not even over when sounds of Christmas carols begins to become noticeable in malls and on the local radio stations.
Last night we were in town and noticed that many of the stores were open long past when they would have closed at home. The large grocery stores and gas stations were most noticeable. One special gift from the government here is that on Christmas Eve and all of Christmas Day, tolls are suspended on all the toll roads. Traffic was heavy as people rushed about to complete their last-minute tasks, or just took a drive with the family.
Fireworks are here at Christmas and there were lots of examples to be seen as we drove home over one of the free toll roads. Locals who can usually be found trying to sell goods to the people in cars stuck in traffic had a new product… fire crackers.
People tend to gather with family to enjoy a time of fellowship and food at Christmas and here is no exception. We had a pot luck Christmas Brunch with 33 people turning out to enjoy visiting with friends and neighbours and meeting new people. It was interesting to look around the group and discover how truly international our little community is. There were people from Canada and the US as well as Belgium, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, France, South Africa and India.
The tropical weather makes such an outdoor gathering more pleasant. We were at 25C here and I noticed Calgary was at -16C. Anyways, thanks to everyone who follows this little blog and it is my sincere wish that you each have a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.