Christmas with the Smiths

Oudtshoorn Travel Blog

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Elroy and his family took me in like I was one of their own and thank the lord because if I had been without a family on Christmas it would have been slightly depressing. Christmas is a little different in Africa. First there aren't Christmas carols playing on every radio station, decorations on windows and in towns are few and far between, post cards of Santa have Santa sweating like a dog carrying his presents in the hot hot sun, and occasionally Santa is running around Pick n' Pay, grocery store, and he is black, white, or colored. Smart Africans don't discriminate....Santa can be black too!

The day before Christmas is not that big of a deal. I am used to my Aunt Gen baking 800 cookies, my Uncle Jeff preparing some kind of delicious meat, my twin cousins Michael and Matthew literally burning their hair and eyebrows off in the fireplace, my mom ditching the family party to read Mac " It was the Night Before Christmas," the family gathering around to laugh like crazy while we all try and sing Christmas carols, and my grandma buying blankets at Salvation Army-dropping them off at the laundry mat-picking them up and asking if she could leave them behind because the cost to wash them was more than they cost to buy.

Christmas Lunch
In the Smith's home Elroy's mom made spaghetti that we could eat when ever, we swam in the pool, lounged around, and went to a midnight service. The Church service was ALL in Afrikaans, I was only one of two white people, and the only one who couldn't understand the sermon. During one point the Pastor said Elroy's name and the entire church laughed. Elroy's mom told me that he had said that Elroy must translate for me. The choir was the most energetic and passionate choir I have ever seen.  After church we stopped at the pastors house and had champagne. Once we made it home Elroy said we must follow tradition and go to the Pif, short for Pavilion; however, the Pif is not like our pavilions. It is this shady area of town where everyone parks in the parking lots and braai (grill) and people drag race until the cops come.
Uncle Roy in his new Christmas camping chair!

Christmas day we made an INCREDIBLY huge meal....Elroy's mom did most of the work. Elroy's mom said Cow Tongue is very popular on Christmas day amongst the coloreds. It is extremely expensive and considered a delicacy...also something I will never eat again. The Smiths were kind enough to give me gifts, which we opened around the dinner table during our lunch, so I wouldn't feel left out. All in all it was a BEAUTIFUL Christmas.

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Christmas Lunch
Christmas Lunch
Uncle Roy in his new Christmas cam…
Uncle Roy in his new Christmas ca…
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photo by: Stormcrow