We enjoy experiencing the differences between our Canadian celebrations and the Mexican celebrations. The Posadas Navideñas take place on the nine days preceding Christmas. From the 16th to the 24th of December local processions reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter in Bethlehem. The processions lead to a different house every night for the culmination of the posada – a small fiesta at the house. Although some Mexican families have Christmas trees, nacimientos (nativity scenes) are a more common Christmas decoration. Many families have elaborate nativity scenes in their homes or yards. There are also large public displays set up in common areas such as the City Hall square or Centro. The nacimiento is usually set up on December 16th, the baby Jesus is added on the evening of December 24th and the three kings are added on the Night of the Kings, January 5th.
Christmas Eve is called Nochebuena in Spanish. This is the night of the last posada. Many people attend midnight mass and then have a dinner together with their families. Christmas Day is generally a quiet day. Gifts are not traditionally exchanged at Christmas but instead gifts are given to children on the Night of the Kings. This custom is changing, as the concept of Santa Claus becomes increasingly more prominent in Mexican Christmas celebrations.
It reminded me a little of when I was a child. My mother had been adopted by an Icelandic couple in Selkirk Manitoba when she was around seven years old. Their traditions included a church service late on Christmas Eve, and then the gifts are opened after midnight. My mom thought that was a more civilized way to celebrate because then her four daughters wouldn’t want to get up at five in the morning to open their gifts. However, we never officially adopted her Christmas Eve tradition – although occasionally she would convince me – the youngest – to insist that we open the presents.
It is a bit odd to be commemorating, what we know as a winter event, under a warm sunny sky with the fragrance of flowers in the air, and palm trees swishing in a light breeze. It’s times like that I think about Lawrie’s dad who every year tried to convince his family of adult kids and their spouses that we should all be celebrating in Hawaii, or someplace warm. We scoffed at the silliness of such an idea. Christmas without snow! Christmas without ice! Christmas without grey skies!
On December 26th Jackie Walker and Michael LeFines celebrated the 10th anniversary Jax Bar and Grill for their 10th Anniversary celebrations.
Tuesday December 27th Lawrie was the auctioneer for the 2nd Annual Treasure Island fundraiser for the Las Glorias English School. Maggie and Tom Washa, with their small army of volunteers put on a great event. All of the funds raised go to scholarships for students who are unable to pay the tuition.
We love it because it’s another excuse to play dress-up! .