Merry Christmas from Uganda!  We love you and miss you all!  It's kind of a bummer to miss the Hillman Walmart Gift Exchange and Nana's Christmas cake, among other special traditions.       

In our neighborhood, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" means that more people are carrying chickens around for their Christmas meals.  Ours is the only place in the area with twinkling lights.  (You know Nick- even in Africa, he found and expertly hung LEDs!)  While we are feeling a bit lonely this Christmas, it has helped us focus more on Jesus, which is a blessing.  

We have so much to be thankful for, starting with the birth of our Savior.  For some reason, this year, it has hit me harder than other years.  Jesus was the son of the most high King, living in Heaven, walking on streets of gold, seated on a throne, living in absolute splendor.  And God the Father sent Jesus down to a filthy little cave in Bethlehem, knowing His Son would die for me, because He loves me and wants me to spend forever with Him.  All this, not because I am wonderful and deserving of this, but because He knows that I cannot possibly earn it myself- because the only way I can get to Heaven is if my sins are accounted for!  So God chose to let His Son die for me.  I can hardly wrap my mind around it.
  
So...It's been a good Christmas for the Eidens- lots of family time and new traditions!  Here are some pictures of what we've been up to!  
(If you are following us on Facebook, you may have already seen some of these.)     
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Some wonderful Christmas carolers visited us!
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Some of the kids from school took me on a little tour of the area. We collected flowers, lemons, mangoes, and avocados for our Christmas feast!
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a.k.a.HOPE Christmas tree complete with flowers, balloons, and homemade garland!
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The teachers cooked for the students!
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Our Christmas Feast: posho, rice, beans, matooke, cabbage, and beef!
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First Christmas Play!
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Bethany loved making Christmas cookies!
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sharing the cookies with our neighbors
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ACE and Beth enjoyed decorating our little tree with African ornaments we got as gifts from friends and found at craft markets!
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Our tree all lit up on Christmas Eve. Cards from new friends, our special Ugandan nativity, and lots of balloons make me smile!
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Birthday Party for Jesus!
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Christmas morning happy face!
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The long-awaited guitar is finally here! We may have found the only child-sized guitar in all of Kampala.
Jan Brandenburg
12/26/2013 08:33:18

Merry Christmas Eiden family!
You commented that you have a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the fact that Jesus would leave His throne to come to earth to show God's love for us. You are living out that Love by serving those He loves in Kampala. You didn't need to leave the comfort of your life in Hays to live with bugs and unreliable electricity. But you were compelled to share His love. You have shared it with us by your messages in your blog and Facebook

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