As a North American, it is very strange getting ready for Christmas when the watermelons are just starting to show up at the fruit stands. The calendar says that it is December, so we are going with it here at the mission home.
I have not seen, nor heard, of one Christmas tree lot. Therefore, I asked around and found out the name of a place that sells artificial trees. I also learned that although decorations don’t show up here until the middle of November, they are pretty much sold out by the 28th of November. That is a national holiday FERIADO BATALLA DE VUELTA DE OBLIGADO - DIA DE LA SOBERANÍA NACIONAL FERIADO.
The city pretty much closes down, and many Argentines take the opportunity to get ready for Christmas. Since I was starting from nothing, I decided that I wanted a Christmas tree that reflected the spirit of Argentina. So, I took up the theme of the flag.
To decorate a tree for Christmas, after you have found a tree to purchase, you go to the local General Bazaar.
These kind of stores normally sell household goods, but the Christmas decorations have taken over. I was looking for items in the color celeste, or sky blue, which is the color of blue in the flag. It is not a very popular color for holiday decorations, so I visited numerous bazaars in various communities.
Christmas tree lights are very expensive. They cost about $12.50 US for a line of 100 lights, and they do not connect one to another. That is how I ended up with two power strips under the tree this year.
To decorate my Argentine tree, I decided that I also needed Argentine ribbon, which I bought at the merceria.
The only thing left to find was some kind of ornament that looked like the sun on the Argentine flag. I found what I wanted at my local libreria, but they only had 6. Luckily for me, there are four Papel Nort stores. The remis driver and ultimately Presidente became involved when the sister stores were too far from the train station to be feasible for me to walk to. I visited each one and purchased all of the sun ornaments.
The Christmas tree:
Wishing you joy in all of your holiday preparations!
I am pretty sure I know what you are waiting for this Christmas. 24 days