The holidays don't feel as weird this year as they did last year. After all, last year was the first year we weren't in a cold climate for the holidays. We've always grown up with the holidays being chillier and snowier than other times of year. Quito doesn't have any of that - it's nicer in December (sunnier, less rainy) than in October or November so we get awesome weather for the holidays. For example, we helped a friend decorate a paper tree yesterday and after that, we went into the backyard and played lawn games in t-shirts and shorts/skirts. It was sunny and just warm enough, but not too warm.
Getting ready for the holidays is tough when there's no weather clues. People have an easier time here decorating palm trees than pine trees because the pines here get really dried out, as we learned from friends. Because we don't celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah is our big holiday during December normally. This year we lit the menorah that my grandma gave us almost every night - we always seem to forget one or two nights if we're out too late. We made latkes and sufganiot, both fried foods, to celebrate. Greg found a new sufganiot recipe (not Martha Stewart's) that we will be using every year from now on. It was amazing! We shared it with our friends and they were a big hit.
Soon we'll be in Cuenca for the week - we've exchanged our house with our cat sitters' house and are excited to be in a new city that we've heard so much above. Stay tuned for more!