Ethiopian Christmas 2018

A few years ago we started celebrating Ethiopian Christmas with our family.  Solomon and Amon are both Ethiopian and we had not been celebrating this important holiday and decided traditions can start at any point, so we just jumped right in.  We brought in some traditional aspects like Ethiopian food, having coffee & popcorn like they do in the Ethiopian coffee ceremonies and starting our celebration off with lighting candles and a prayer, but we also added our own things to it as well like Solomon picking our desserts and having big glass bottle sodas like we always enjoyed each time we were in Ethiopia.  Everyone loves it, everyone has a good time and we celebrate the rich, beautiful culture of Ethiopia that is so important to our family.

(Above photo was taken by my niece Campbell)

This year we ordered food again from one of our favorite local Ethiopian restraunts GoJo.  There are several Ethiopian places to eat in Nashville, but GoJo has become our go to place.  As with previous years Solomon stepped up his dessert choice game.  He and I watched about 10 different dessert videos before he made his selection…Oreo Dump Cake.  Solomon has always been this wonderful little foodie boy and when it’s time for him to make a personal selection for an type of menu he takes it very seriously and is crazy deliberate with his choices.  He may not like cereal or most breads, but this kid will eat jalapeños and onions and lamb and donkey and all the cooked meats and veggies and dessert his his forte.

He also chose a super yummy Roll Cake again.  Last year he chose this as well, but asked if I could make it green, yellow and red like the Ethiopian flag colors.  This year I asked him if he wanted me to do the same and he said, “No.  This year I’d like rainbow colors for Everett.”  Goodness does this boy miss his little brother.  Solomon was smitten with Everett from the beginning and they had a unique bond that reminded me of the bond between Harper & Amon.  Solomon big brothered Everett so sweetly and so well.  And every night when they went to bed Solomon would chat with Everett until he fell asleep since Amon and Hudson literally fall asleep almost the minute their heads hit their pillows.  I could not have loved Solomon’s selection of the rainbow roll cake any more.

We also had fruit, veggies, some Chick-fila nuggets…I mean, that’s totally authenticate Ethiopian food…hahahaha…popcorn, a candy bowl, glass bottle sodas and everyone…even a lot of the kiddos…had coffee in our Ethiopian coffee cups.

Kids ran around wildly and played their hearts out.  The adults chatted each other up.  Everyone just did their thing and stuffed their faces.

In grief, there is still joy.  It was such an honor and privilege to celebrate Solomon and Amon’s culture…to set aside time to honor them and their beautiful country.  To remember where they have come from and their irreplaceable birth parents who created our treasured sons.  We missed Everett terribly and I will be honest that this looms over every type of celebration or holiday we have been apart of since Everett died.  The night before we celebrated Ethiopian Christmas Josh and talked about a game plan because we knew at some point the next day among the joy, someone would come crashing down in grief.  It’s unescapable…it always happens…and we have learned to see it coming.  Sure enough, near the end of our celebration Hudson came over all teary eyed and said how sad he was.  He snuggled in close and I just held him right there amongst the hustle and bustle of the party.

That night we just chilled out.  We watched a movie and had an easy dinner everyone would like…we didn’t need more tears over a dinner someone didn’t want to eat.  We’re learning what works for our family and our grief.  We’re learning to game plan and think ahead about the ways we can cushion the blow of these joyful/grief-filled days.

This year Ethiopian Christmas snuck up on us…like a lot of things have lately.  We are so buried in our day-to-day survival that it’s hard to think or plan ahead, but we made it happen and I’m so thankful we did.  We want to always celebrate each of our children’s beginnings.  We want them to know where they have come from and who they are deeply apart of.  I cannot say enough how grateful and honored I am for the way God decided to knit our family together.  We are surely the luckiest.

Melkam Gena!

PS:  You can read about our 2016 celebration HERE and our 2017 celebration HERE.

1 Comment

  1. Love this tradition – such a special way to honor Solomon and Amon’s heritage and teach the whole family about other traditions. It’s amazing what these celebrations do for expanding the world around our kiddos and helping them really feel the significance of all different cultures. Love the rainbow roll cake – nicely done!

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