I found fresh mangoes hard to come by in the States. When I did track them down they often required a pretty penny before I could make them mine and take them home. Here in Paraguay there are mango trees in nearly every backyard.
Ever since arriving in Paraguay in June we’ve been awaiting this magical mango season and hearing stories about how there are far more mangoes than the towns can possibly eat. Isaiah and I have been joking (or are we?) that our town won’t have this excess problem now that we’ve arrived!
We’ve identified the trees that will one day produce the juicy fruit and dreamed up different ways we can eat mangoes. Smoothies, chutneys, salsas, cold soups! Isaiah even has plans to build a solar food dryer.
Now that it’s December, we can see the fruits appearing on the trees. We’ve watched their size increase and their color begin to change. I often hear myself asking the locals when the mangoes are usually ripe for the plucking – just to make sure that I’m set and ready. And to hear the beautiful words saying it won’t be long now.
It seems so fitting that this season of mangoes lines up so nicely with advent. I’m not only highly anticipating the fresh fruit but to celebrate once again the birth of Jesus. I actively wait for Christmas by making preparations and decorations. I think back on all the Christmases I’ve celebrated with my family and more recently with Isaiah’s family.
I think of the calm and peaceful feeling I get on Christmas Eve when everyone in my parent’s church stands in a huge circle, only the flickering light from our candles glowing, as we sing Silent Night. And then the way my heartbeat quickens in excitement as we hold the candles up high and belt out Joy to the World in 4-part harmony.
Or on Isaiah’s side when I hear my niece’s sweet voice reading the Christmas story from the Bible and then eating a delicious Christmas Day brunch, sometimes in our pajamas. Sometimes in one-piece pajamas.
The nearly palpable anticipation of these events is both exhilarating and frustrating. It’s too easy to want things now. Right now! But in the season of mangoes and advent, I imagine the waiting itself makes the big event that much sweeter.
How are you preparing for Christmas?