Saturday, December 25, 2010

visions of sugar-plums

I could not let one of my favorite Christmas decorations in Villa Obregon pass unnoticed on Christmas.  It is so -- Mexican.

It has everything.  Bells.  Lights.  Wise men.  Santa.  Reindeer.  A Christmas tree.  The pope (the dead one, not the German).  Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Well, almost everything.  It is a rather good example what can happen when we focus on the surface celebration.

I could not find the baby Jesus anywhere.  Apparently, neither could the wise men.  They appear to be helping Santa get over that balcony rail.  Chimneys being rarer than street lights in my small fishing village by the sea.

I have had the flu (or a very bad cold) for most of the past week.  And I decided three days in bed was enough.

It was Christmas Eve and my church was holding an evening service. 

I am glad I went.  Not because that is where God is.  He isn't.  Or, not just there.

But he does work through the hands of a community that appreciates the value of sharing grace.  The reason we celebrate this season is to remember that we are to love God and to share that love with one another.  Not just on Christmas, but every moment we share.  Every day.

After the service I drove home and had dinner at The Frog -- a nice bowl of sopa de tortilla.  I am now ready to climb back in bed.

Mind you.  I will not get sleep.  The firecrackers that could impersonate strip mining in West Virginia have commenced.

I trust you shall all have a Christmas of sharing grace with one another.  And that each of your days will be blessed.

¡Feliz navidad!


Barb said...

Merry Christmas, Steve. I hope you're feeling better soon.

norm said...

Merry Christmas. Thanks for all the great posts over the last year, I predict a great year for you in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo. I hope your return to good health is swift.

Tom and Debi said...

Oh Silly - the baby Jesus never shows up in Nativity scenes down here until the 25th.

Really! Check it out - at least all over Merida, today is when the little babies are added to the decoration!


Darrel said...

Merry Christmas Brother. We will be having a mini family Christmas here in Central Oregon. Christy is still in Virginia. Mom is back from Portland, so it will just be Mom, Kaitlyn and I. We will be attacking a smoked/slow roasted leg of lamb. You will be missed.

Love Ya

Islagringo said...

Depending upon when you took this picture, the Baby Jesus would not yet be on display. He wasn't born until today so would not appear before his birth.

Anonymous said...

The old Russian story-teller Tolstoy believed that where love is, God is.

I'll take Tolstoy over Aquinas any day.


Tancho said...

Merry Christmas Steve, glad to have you back with us in Mexico. Hope you get to feel better at least for New Years where you can go and really celebrate!.....I'll think of you celebrating when I retire to bed around 10 or so.....

Calypso said...

Merry Christmas hombre - lots of fireworks at midnight here in Puerto - great sunsets ;-)

Marc Olson said...

Sounds like you have had a good Christmas. I did, too, out in a nearby pueblo, I did not get much sleep, either. I climbed into a hammock about 2:00 Christmas morning, as the neighborhood music and fireworks were just hitting their peak. All part of the holiday around here. Merry Christmas, Steve, and Happy New Year.

Hollito said...

Just dropped in to say: Merry Christmas, Steve!
Hope we can meet next time we are in MX (or in the States, however...)!

Steve Cotton said...

Barb -- Thanks. I am starting to feel a bit better. This is the first morning I have been up before 9 for almost a week.

Norm -- Do I get to skip 2011?

Francisco -- I am coming along.

Debi -- I thought that might be the case. But there weas no Mary (other than in her Magic Cape manifestation). No Jospeh. No manger. The equivalent of a Whitman sampler with no chocolate-coverered caramels.

Darrel -- Lamb? I will be on a plane north.

Islagringo -- As it turned out, not in this case. I have noted that a lot of the nativity scenes around town do not follow the usual Mexican custom of holding back the baby figure until Christmas. We are so progressive over here. ;}

ANM -- Ah, reductionism. Fusing Tolstoy and Aquinas is quite easy.

Tancho -- I hope you are correct. I am looking forward to a nice night of celebrating later this week.

Calypso -- I need to get up on the roof to start enjoying our sunsets up our way.

Marc -- Christmas here is a bit like a combination of the Fourth of July and a family reunion.

Hollito -- Great to hear from you again. Let me know when you are next in Mexico. We will get together.