Sunday, December 23, 2012

feliz navidad

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.


Trudy said...

Merry Christmas Steve. I have enjoyed another year of your writings. All the best in the New Year.

MarcOlson said...

Merry Christmas, Steve.

barbara eckrote said...

I so hope they got a toy too. Kids don't really want clothes for Christmas. The smiles on their faces are priceless. Thanks for sharing.

Steve Cotton said...

It certainly as been merry so far.

Steve Cotton said...

It was a nice evening of sharing.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Trudy. I have enjoyed doing the writing.

Steve Cotton said...

Disqus appears to be acting up again. Here is a comment from Larry Clifton.

Another year of delightful posts! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I look forward to starting my day with a few minutes in Steve's company.

Larry Clifton


Thanks, Larry. It is always good to hear from long-time readers.

Lapis said...

Why did I get a lump in my throat reading this post. I suppose I was touched by the faces and by the simplicity of this Christmas. It is what every Christmas should be; it's perfect. Blessed be

Steve Cotton said...

It was an excellent way to start Christmas.

Joanna said...

Your photos are so much like many of the ones I've taken at this time of year. I admire the way people in Mexico ENJOY everything so much. Little babies and grandmothers are all integrated into the fun. Once I took a group of 35 international students to a nearby town and we watched a wedding in progress... Coming out of the church and seeing the gaggle of strangers was a welcome sight to these people... The mother of the bride invited all of us to come to the party! She wouldn't take no for an answer. We didn't stay long but we had a marvelous time. Getting back on the bus, the students were quiet until one incredulous voice said, "I can't imagine what my mother would do if a busload of scruffy tourists showed up at my sister's wedding..." Such lessons in life are priceless and to think... the people of Mexico give away all that wisdom and generosity just because they want to. Merry Christmas Steve.

Steve Cotton said...

Our days here are filled with such moments.

Andean said...

I'm onto my second Christmas celebration with my friends and family. Every part of it has been wonderful. A lot of happy faces and merry voices. And lots of elves to help--very relaxing.

¡Feliz Navidad a todos!

Steve Cotton said...

And I am enjoying the solitude of sitting alone in my garden. It is a very nice day here.