Our first Christmas in Zambia was spent out at Kalwa farm. This farm was home to our friends the Waddils and Garrisons, and that Christmas they had us and the Hubbards. Out of all my Christmas' growing up, that one was the one that I remember the MOST! It was one of my favorite times! I don't remember what presents we got but I remember the amount of time we spent giving to others and enjoying each others company. It is one of those Christmas' that should be put into a Christmas Hallmark Movie! It was so simple but so rewarding. We celebrated Jesus' Birth in an "old-time" Christmas. I don't know how to explain what "Old-time" means but in Zambia it was the BEST Christmas EVER!! It was where many of my own traditions were started.
Here are some things I remember about that wonderful Christmas.
The kids, about 10 of us, put on a Magnificent Christmas play. I was Mary, mainly because I did not have any lines to memorize and I was small enough to ride on Howard's back. Howard was the oldest Waddil son and my faithful donkey who I feel off of quite a bit. It was done outside one evening on the veranda, that I thought was HUGE. Later on I found out that it was not as big as my little five year old mind thought it was. But it was a fantasy place to my imagination! It was a fantastic play, we should have all been on Broadway for sure!
I remember spending a few hours around a piano singing Christmas Carols with everybody. That is something I looked forward to every year at our own house in years to follow. I loved it when mom would play piano and we would all sing! There is just something about gathering together and singing that just puts you in the Christmas spirit!
I remember we got to go swimming on Christmas!!! Something that we NEVER did in the USA! But that is one blessing to living in a country that Christmas time is the HOT season. We went to this "river" with "GIANT" rapids that the Big boys could go down on the inner-tubes. I played in the calm area of the river. Which looking back, the river was more of a creek and the rapid was a BIG rock in the middle of the creek making the water look ferocious! In my mind it was and Adventure! I was the luckiest girl on earth to go swimming on Christmas!
My favorite memory of that Christmas was spending the day with Uncle Tom and Aunt Lucille Waddill and their family as they gave out blankets, food and other treats to the families of the workers on their farm. That is a tradition that our family carried on every year after that. One that I looked forward to so much. It was so much fun to wrap oil, sugar, salt, and other goodies in a box and give them to our workers. Giving gifts was not a thing that people did in the Zambian culture. But the people loved getting their boxes. For some that was their first Christmas present ever. I loved watching their excitement over such simple presents. My mom would bake sweet breads and cookies for our neighbors.Taking your neighbor sweets was not something done in Zambia but we did it every year. I looked forward to our Christmas boxes and cookie delivery every year!
From that first Christmas also came a recipe that has passed down from Aunt Lucille and one I have to make EVERY YEAR!! It is the most delicious, mouth watering, dish ever! It is her Sweet Potato Souffle. I don't really know what a souffle is or is suppose to be but this one is AMAZING!! This has become a holiday tradition in my family! Try it it might become a tradition in yours! So in Memory of Aunt Lucille who lost her battle with breast cancer a few years ago and for Uncle Tom, I make this! Thank you for your MANY MANY years of service to the Lord in Zambia. Thank you for making our first Christmas in Zambia EPIC! Thank you for teaching me Christmas was about more then just getting stuff but was about giving too! I love you both!
Sweet Potato Souffle
3 cups cooked sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all together and put in greased baking dish.
Mix together:(this makes enough for 2 souffles)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 stick melted butter
1 cup coconut
1/3 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
Sprinkle over souffle and bake 45-50 at 350 degrees. This freezes great so you can make it ahead.