Sunday, 22 November 2009

Christmas bilas

"Bilas" is a Pidgin word that means something like "decoration."

On Sunday, I hosted my first ever Christmas Bilas Party to prepare for the upcoming holiday.  I say "first ever" because I have a feeling this might become an annual tradition.  Erin and Becky 2 joined me, along with Rebekka who is a Swiss medical student currently volunteering at Kudjip.  Now before any of you who firmly believe that Christmas decorations should remain in storage until after Thanksgiving raise an eyebrow, we did have to work around the call schedule of four docs.  A bit of a challenge to be sure.

So we gathered together on Sunday afternoon for a bit of holiday fun.  i-Tunes filled the air with random Christmas songs and carols.  Erin assembled and lighted the tree that once graced my mother's living room.  It is just about too tall for my house.  Almost, but not quite.  Becky 2 a.k.a. "longpela meri" (long woman) could actually reach the top to place the star.  Rebekka arranged the nativity on top of the wood burning stove.  We all sorted through the my tub and my roomie's boxes to adorn the tree.  The ornaments and other decorations come from all over the world, as I have been collecting them on my travels over the last few years... a tree skirt from India, Santa from Poland, Nutcracker from Germany, the "12 Days of Christmas" from Australia, a nativity from PNG, ornaments from Afghanistan and Peru and Japan.  There were some fun discoveries.  Just like Christmas!

Going with the theme, we had an international menu for dinner including Malaysian chicken curry and Becky's Sweedish chocolate balls.  The power faded for a few minutes and we enjoyed sharing Christmas traditions and memories by candlelight.  When the electricity returned, we concluded the evening by watching one of Erin's favorite Christmas traditions... Emmett the Otter's Jug-band Christmas.

It was a fun afternoon and a special time.  Thanks, girls, for sharing it with me!

For more pictures of the Kudjip holiday season, take a peek at my photo album "PNG home for the holidays."

"On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me...
Twelve parrots prattling,
Eleven numbats nagging,
Ten lizards leaping,
Nine wombats working,
Eight possums playing,
Seven koalas climbing,
Six platypuses,
Five kangaroos,
Four kookaburras,
Three jabirus,
Two pink galahs,
And an emu up a gum tree."


  1. Steph it is so fun reading about your decorating celebration! Are there any pictures? :-)

  2. That sounds like it was fun! Thanks for giving us a peak into how you are celebrating!

  3. Hi, Mom! Yes, there are a few pics... to be added soon. Camera and i-Photo weren't getting along yesterday when I wrote the blog.