Sometimes in western Mongolia you just have to make do... Christmas, for example! There is no wrapping paper of any kind here. While our friends creatively cut up a Christmas tablecloth, we made some potato stamps and decorated our own paper. Who knew that wrapping presents could be almost as fun as un-wrapping them!
There are also, of course, no trees in western Mongolia. While it may be possible to buy a plastic pygmy tree from the market (usually the week before New Year's), we chose to contextualize a bit this year - a beautiful section of ger wall strung with lights and hosting a variety of ornaments and ribbons!
Another great thing about Christmas are the concerts... and we were able to find a few. Eden (and Avery) has been taking dance lessons at the Childrens' Palace. They had a zoo of a holiday concert with all kinds of song and dance numbers. Eden was slightly overshadowed in stardom by the young male vocalist standing directly in front of her stunning dance performance, but she enjoyed it thoroughly (and is happy to dance for anyone on command!). I enjoyed a little stardom of my own, participating in the Christmas choir for our all-Hovd Church Celebration ;)
And of course you need presents to celebrate the Birthday!! Somehow we didn't have a problem finding these - thanks to a fruitful trip to UB (November) and some fantastic packages from the grandparents! It was a good first Christmas in Hovd... and it is such a privilege to celebrate the coming of our King among a people who have been so long without one.