The next few days will be busy.
Not only am I am going to enjoy celebrating Christmas with friends in Mexico, I also need to pack for my next trip north -- on Wednesday.
So, let me wish all of you a very meaningful Christmas. Because I am not certain I will have time to post until later this week.
I started celebrating Christmas early on Saturday evening.
As you know, I have a limited volunteer role in working with our local Indian school. The grounds consist of sixteen family housing units, three elementary school classrooms, a kitchen, and a clinic.
The facility also provides education and meals for students who do not live on the premises.
Saturday was a special day. The families are migrant workers. Here to plant and harvest crops for months at a time. Most of them are Mixteca from the area around Oaxaca.
As is true with most Mexican celebrations, this one was multi-layered and long in duration. But anyone who has ever been to a Mexican Christmas party will recognize the elements.
First came the posada. Some of the children were dressed as Mary, Joseph, the wise men, shepherds, angels, and the odd sheep or two. They all stood on the outside of the school grounds with the gate closed.
They then sang the traditional song begging permission to enter. But the singers on the inside denied entrance in responsive song. Until the last verse. The children then burst through the gates like Walmart shoppers on Black Friday. Because they knew what was coming next.
While they settled into their seats, Miguel and his support musicians sang holiday songs for us.
But the listening portion of the evening was soon over. And it was piñata time. Time to bust open some candy.
Some of the piñatas were traditional. Including one representing the seven cardinal sins.
But the favorites for the children appeared to be the north of the border characters. Such as Santa Claus. This little boy is about to knock the stuffing (literally) out of Frosty the Snowman.
Having redistributed the candy wealth through random acts of violence, the children lined up to receive gifts provided by the expatriate and tourist community. Primarily shoes and clothes.
This girl is being fitted for a new pair of sandals.
And there was more. Including a full Christmas dinner for all.
I can only hope that your Christmas season will be as enjoyable as the one these children celebrated with their families on Saturday.