All around the world, it’s Christmas Morning. This week, we learned that Christmas Eve is the big day for family events, so many businesses in the area are closed early on Christmas Eve so staff can have family time. In other cases, the celebrations start late and go until the wee hours, as was the case of Miguel, the waiter for our Christmas Eve dinner who was meeting his family at 10 pm.
I also asked Miguel, who has a 2-1/2 year old daughter when she opened her gifts. They started giving her the presents a couple days ago and are almost done. So, at least in his family, there aren’t designated special times for gift opening and Santa doesn’t deliver in the night.
As much as the Mexican culture loves celebrations and bright colors, it’s a little surprising to me that there aren’t more and gaudier decorations around town. Many businesses have no decorations up at all, others have a simple strand of lights or a few ornaments hanging. We are much more effusive in the U.S., but then, as an English friend was fond of saying (with a slight tone of sarcasm) “Everything is bigger and better in America”.
For your viewing pleasure, following are a few photos of Christmas in the tropics. Less gaudy perhaps, but no less merry (at least not if the sounds of firecrackers throughout the night are any indication).
Here’s Santa waiting on the bus that brings the tourists to the marina for one of the “party boats” that is based here.
Random businesses around town before dark (the elf guy is a waiter at the restaurant where we made New Year’s Eve reservations. Merry Christmas to me).
Random nighttime shots – we haven’t been in Cocina Economic, but it appears that the restaurant was created by putting tables and chairs in someone’s living room, and the rest of the house is still their house. I’ve peeked in a couple places that looked like that.
Yes Virginia, there ARE real Christmas trees in Mexico:
What would Christmas be without a giant, rooftop, inflatable Mickey Mouse Santa?
It’s unclear whether the red and green rocks are meant to be a Christmas decoration or not:
This appears to be someone’s courtyard, decorated and ready for the family gathering to start. I took this picture around 8 pm, as we were walking home to go to bed.
Even the boats get into the spirit – and note the full moon!
And for the eating and drinking portion of our program: Christmas Eve dinner. It looks like a pile of charcoal but really it’s char-grilled lobster. The waiter says “For some reason they are very small today, so when the plate comes, there may be three, maybe four. Will that be ok?”. Um, yeah, that’ll be fine (it was two lobsters, split and grilled).
And what would Christmas Eve dinner in Mexico be without an ending shot of tequila? Incomplete, that’s what it would be. The red stuff is called sangria, but it’s not fruity wine, it’s a mix of tomato and orange juice. John taught me that you squeeze a lime in your mouth, take a sip of tequila then a sip of sangria. Yummier that it sounds. By the way, the salt was in there just for effect. It wasn’t involved in this process after the picture taking.
And even after two margaritas, a small kahlua and a tequila shot, I was able to get up and bake banana papaya muffins for breakfast. A Christmas miracle for sure. Or maybe it was the thought of a Christmas hair of the dog bloody mary that motivated me.
This afternoon I’ll make green bean casserole complete with the French’s fried onion rings that we’ve carried all the way from Chula Vista for the pot luck at Philo’s bar. At 7 pm all the children of La Cruz are invited to Philo’s to see Santa, get a gift bag and eat some pizza. All the children. It’s an event that’s been sponsored by Philo’s for several years. We’ve been told that the children line up around the block.
Merry Christmas to all of you! Enjoy your day, your family and your friends, and here’s looking forward to a wonderful 2016!