Christmas Celebrations in Atenas 2018

Here is the schedule of Christmas Festivities at Central Park Atenas with the stage being on government property across the street this year with park being remodeled. Lots of music and a lanterns parade at night plus more with vendor booths set up on the outer edges of the park  — remodeling not stopping the Christmas Spirit in Atenas! It will be HAPPY, HAPPY as always and I’m sorry I will miss it this year again as I am traveling for Christmas (Which is a very Tico thing to do!).     🙂

And they just added some more activities for Christmas:

If you click the above image it is larger in its original location

And that is the official Atenas Community fiestas. Every church has at least one Christmas Eve service and the big catholic church multiple masses both days. Many Tico families have 1 to 2 weeks vacation and travel to a beach, usually the week between Christmas and New Years (when most businesses are closed).

Expats vary a lot in what they do. Several always go home to the States, Canada or Europe for Christmas with family. Some have family come here. And the “Snow Birds” came here for  their Christmas or multi-months escape from snow and cold weather. Our Expat “Men’s Club” (misnamed) went yesterday (the 16th) to San Ramon for a Dinner Theatre Christmas Madrigal Old English Show or something like that. I went this year and reported yesterday.

Then there’s me – like a real Tico now, I’m going to the beach again but will spend most of my time in the forest at and near Manuel Antonio National Park in a private wildlife refuge and resort called Si Como No, which in español literally means “Yes, of course,” or “Yes, why not?”  indicative of the positive spirit of life here in Costa Rica! And I will photograph birds of course!   ¡Pura Vida!

¡Feliz Navidad!

 

Considering a move to Costa Rica? If so, and you find online research confusing or overwhelming, then read this Christopher Howard article on  All Over the Map Syndrome Although he is a little arrogant, he still has the best relocation tour of Costa Rica and his tour combined with the ARCR Seminar is one of the best ways to filter through the onslaught of information you may be finding. I credit those two events with properly preparing me for my successful move here along with a positive attitude and an already established love of the Costa Rica Culture and nature places. Before you move here, visit several times (consider the fun Caravan.com Costa Rica tour) and then go on his “Live In Costa Rica Combination Tour” coupled with the ARCR Seminar and you will be much better prepared. People who just come and try to figure it all out when they get here are usually in the 40% who end up going back to the states, Canada or wherever “home” was before. “Be Prepared!”     🙂

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Madrigal Renaissance Christmas Banquet

About 30 of us expat retirees in Atenas went north of here by charter bus to San Ramon (hour drive) where we were fed and entertained by a group of expat retirees in San Ramon. We had a very interesting experience of a 14th Century Madrigal Christmas Banquet with all our hosts in period costumes and a wide variety of entertainment with the excellent meal! There was chamber music while we ate plus afterwards period ceremony, stories, singing by our hosts and group singing of Christmas Carols (in English & Spanish!) by all making it a very special Christmas Dinner. THANKS TO THE EXPATS OF SAN RAMON! And to Tony & Rose Mary for putting it together! Gracias!   🙂

Madrigal Dinner Slideshow

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Or to see each of the photos individually and larger, go to my 2018 Madrigal Banquet Photo Gallery where you can also download photos if you wish.

¡Feliz Navidad!

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Supermarket at Night

I rarely go at night, but did one night this week and saw their big tree which is mostly lights, plus lights on everything else including the manger scene, which is a little much for me. Oh well, Christmas is really BIG here! I mean really big! Gobs of celebrations and fiestas and music and church services and most get a whole week off from work and all employers are required by law to give a Christmas Bonus (for me to a maid and gardeners). Then everything is closed Christmas week and people travel, for some, their only vacation. Cultures are so interesting! Everywhere!   🙂    I’ll post a schedule of public celebrations tomorrow.

 

¡Feliz Navidad!

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Is the Color of Christmas Red?

Last year after Christmas I took the potted Poinsettia I had had inside and planted it in my garden. When I recently asked my gardeners to “thin out” my garden, well . . . they really thinned it out including the removal of my poinsettia which was not doing well anyway.

So today I looked for another poinsettia in town and found only one little plant store that had any and they were expensive, but I got two anyway. They add to the “Christmas Spirit” around my house and I already had in mind putting them immediately in my garden, which I did. Well, the rain seems to have stopped (we might get 1 or 2 more) and the wind has started blowing (think March in the states). The petals or really leaves on the poinsettia are be thrashed by the wind and already look weathered.

Oh well, I meant well and in my thinned out garden there is not much color now, so they have been added to my two other now-blooming red flowers: Red Ginger and Torch Ginger or in Costa Rica El bastón de emperador. So maybe all this red in my gardens is my Christmas color for this year!   🙂

 

See the Photo Gallery of My Home Gardens for more of my flowers and they’re not all red!   🙂

 

“What is the colour of Christmas?  Red? 

The red of the toyshops on a dark winter’s afternoon,
Of Father Christmas and the robin’s breast?
Or green?
Green of holly and spruce and mistletoe in the house,
dark shadow of summer in leafless winter?
One might plainly add a romance of white,
fields of frost and snow;
thus white, green, red- reducing the event to the level of a Chianti bottle. 
But many will say that the significant colour is gold,
gold of fire and treasure, of light in the winter dark; and this gets closer, 
For the true colour of Christmas is Black.
Black of winter, black of night, black of frost and of the east wind,
black of dangerous shadows beyond the firelight.

― William Sansom

¡Feliz Navidad!

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Supermercado Adds New Giant “Tree”

La Coope Supermercado built this giant tree which is really to enjoy only at night and I don’t go out at night – but interesting! 🙂
This is their standard entrance tree, possibly a repeat from last year. Plus they have smaller Christmas ribbons, bows and signs all over the store!
And the same nativity each year in the parking lot.

Christmas is a really big deal here in Costa Rica! And the week between Christmas is like a week-long holiday with most businesses closed and many Ticos on vacation at the beach. ¡Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad de Supermercado La Coope

 

Income Idea for My Fellow-Retirees

Someone just wrote me asking that I share this link with you in case you are interested in renting out a room in your house while at home or renting out your whole house while traveling or otherwise away, using AirbNB. It might be a good idea for you wherever you live as tourists visit all parts of the world now. (NOTE that I am not doing this nor recommending it.)  Here’s how:

https://www.bankrate.com/retirement/retiree-guide-to-hosting-airbnb/

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Merry Christmas!

Keel-billed Toucan visiting for breakfast – my home terrace one morning.

HAPPY, HAPPY – – – to you and your family, friends, and communities this Christmas! While some of you enjoy a White Christmas, I will be enjoying the beaches and rainforests of Manuel Antonio National Park and the private Wildlife Refuge of Si Como No Resort there.   – – – HAPPY, HAPPY!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!

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A King Vulture for Christmas Eve!

King Vulture Adult
Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

King Vulture Juvenile
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Social Flycatcher
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Olive Sparrow
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Rufous-capped Warbler
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Barred Antshrike
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Possibly a Greenish Elaenia
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Blue-throated Goldentail Hummingbird
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Painted Buntings 
They would not let me get close enough for a good photo
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

White-nosed Coati 
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

 Helicopter Damselfly
 Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

 

Black Vulture
These guys circle a dead animal and attract the King Vulture
Raptor Ridge, Tambor, Costa Rica

My trip gallery for this trip: 2017 Christmas Week Tambor Bay 

And my photo gallery Costa Rica Birds .

 
 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!  FELIZ NAVIDAD!
 
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Tambor Tropical Friday to Wednesday

Tambor Bay, Nicoya Peninsula, Pacific Coast
Where I will be for 5 nights this Christmas, 22-27 Dec.
Tambor Tropical Resort
A small boutique luxury hotel on beach of the calmer water bay of the Pacific Ocean
on southern end of the Nicoya Peninsula (Guanacaste) west of Puntarenas.
Catering to birders, nature lovers, adventurers and yoga people.
Tambor Bay, Costa rica
Not only is the hotel on the beach, but adjacent to a river with multiple birding/hiking trails.
This is my kind of place! I can hardly wait to get there! Birding guides to 2 reserves plus
maybe a boat trip to Tortuga Island along with the ever-present river tails above! And beach!
Plus most reviews rank the food and other services very high. A great vacation!
Tambor Bay, Costa Rica
Birding tours and bird photography tours they advertise on their site have package trips here for 3  to 4 k. (Paying for 2 or 3 leader’s ways usually) I will have pretty much the same experience with my own private guide for a small fraction of that cost. And more time to relax and enjoy the beach and resort. 5 nights will make it a perfect trip!
And so you may think it is weird to go birding Christmas (like I did last Christmas) well, here is a cell phone snapshot of my living room Christmas Tree, a leafless tree limb loaded with artisan birds from all over Latin America and a backdrop of bird photos. It’s a perfect Christmas for me! And another cool way to spend my son’s inheritance!  🙂   Enjoying Retirement in Costa Rica!

 

Bird Christmas Tree  (Click for close-ups of some of the birds.)
The leafless tree in the corner is sprayed with gold paint and has hanging on it 33 hand-made art birds from
every country in Central America made of wood, cloth, pottery, beads, gourds, etc.
I like it so much I have kept it up since last Christmas and probably will again all this year.
Charlie’s Living Room
Atenas, Costa Rica

I expect to give daily reports of my adventures at Tambor Tropical on this blog, so keep reading for my idea of a Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad! Birding in Costa Rica!   🙂

My trip gallery for this trip: 2017 Christmas Week Tambor Bay 

And the hotel website:  Tambor Tropical Resort

-o-
 



Expats in Costa Rica most often feel safer than in the U.S.  Article in Live in Costa Rica Blog

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Small Town Commercial Christmas Decorations

Nativity in Central Market Courtyard
 Atenas, Costa Rica

City Hall Christmas Tree
 Not one in park this year like in past.
 Atenas, Costa Rica

Small Local Clothing Store  
 Atenas, Costa Rica

Largest Supermarket  
 Atenas, Costa Rica   

In Parking Lot of Largest Supermarket
Atenas, Costa Rica

Many Small Shops have Scooters & Bikes Lined up out front!
 Atenas, Costa Rica

And for this shoe store, a sign was enough for them!
 Atenas, Costa Rica

This Chain Bakery a sign and some inside garland.
 Atenas, Costa Rica

A favorite Gift & Office Supply Store has this tree + garlands
 Atenas, Costa Rica

This Soda settled for ceiling garlands. 
And a Gift Shop with an English sign! Oh no! Gringos?
 Atenas, Costa Rica

For these and other Christmas photos, see my gallery: Christmas in Atenas 2017

And I think the big catholic church waits until Christmas Eve to set up usually 2 nativities, one inside and one outside. Neither are up yet! And baby Jesus doesn’t go in manger until Christmas Day!  🙂  I will miss it this year since I’m gone during Christmas week. More on that tomorrow. 

In case you missed the Alajuela Public Tree posted earlier and

Two of the Alajuela City Mall Christmas Trees also posted earlier.

Or the disgustingly early BEFORE HALLOWEEN Walmart Christmas Decorations also in Alajuela.

CHRISTMAS IS BIG HERE! Many businesses will be closed the week between Christmas and New Years and I will have no maid or gardener that week. Home with families!


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