Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas from the Land of Nada

I usually take a blog break this time of year but at the rate I've been posting, it looks like I'm already on my holiday blogging break. I did however write a post for Christmas on my website:

I was layering on the decorations on the Christmas tree at the hotel in San Pedro where we live now. Adding more lights, more shiny balls, beads, red and gold wrappy things. One of the workers came by and complimented my work.
I said, “Is it too much?” He said, “No, it is pretty. It’s good that you are doing that.” I said, “In the U.S., Christmas is a time of excess. It’s all about too much. Too many decorations, too much food, too many sweets, too many presents, too much everything.”
I asked him if it was like that in Guatemala, although I already knew the answer. He smiled and said, “Nada.” (nothing)
Go here to read the rest, and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. See you again in January!


  1. Sadly there are many places in the US where it is also "nada". The land of excesses also has too many with little.

    Merry Christmas, Karen, and I hope 2016 brings you many blessings.

  2. Merry Christmas and good wishes for a fantastic new year!

  3. It is about excess. In fact I was about to go shopping for extra gifts that no one needs but I feel compelled to buy. It wasn't about the joy of giving, but the fear of being perceived as not giving enough. Thanks for the perspective.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. I recall a Christmas in Nepal, eating rice and lentil dahl and oranges. And I'm sure I understood generosity better that day than many of those drowning in glittery things at home.

  5. Hi Karen - I remember the "Nada" post ... similar in areas of South Africa - I admire them for their humbleness ...

    Have a peaceful and happy Christmas in your lovely new country - cheers Hilary

  6. Your "Nada" post is lovely, and a reminder to all of us to treasure what is important, not just the tinsel. Merry Christmas, Karen.

  7. Hi, Karen,

    Happy New Year.... What a humbling post. I so related when you said I have so much and I'm always in a bad mood. Me, too...

    This year didn't pan out at all the way I had wanted. I'm still stuck in a city I honestly hate and live in a newly rehabbed loft (pics on my blog). I should be thrilled, but NO, I'm not. I want to be in the sun.

    God bless those sweet and wonderful people. We Americans can certainly learn much from those lovely, simple folks... You are such a savvy woman to pick up on it....

    Wishing you all the best for 2016!

    Do drop by my blog if you get a chance...

    Take care.

  8. A beautiful post. I'm happy I hopped over to read the whole thing. There's something inspiring about people who have so little yet are so happy - I'm willing to bet more happy than most first world people will ever know how to be.

    My daughter is down in Central American right now for 3 months (study abroad in Costa Rica) so you've been on my mind. I'm pleased to hear Guatamala still holds all its magic for you. :)

  9. Your post is food for thought, Karen. Thanks so much for sharing this with your followers. I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. All the best in 2016!