Merry Christmas To All Our Friends And Family
We had a quiet, but enjoyable Christmas to ourselves. It didn’t feel like Christmas outside because it was sunny and warm. We made it feel festive and cozy inside by putting up a small tree, buying a large poinsettia and hanging up stockings on the fireplace.
The main focus of Christmas here is still religion and family. There is no where near the same commercial aspect of the holidays here that there is at home. One of the main events of the Christmas holiday are the posadas that take place from December 16 through the 24th. Family and friends gather each night and lead a procession through the streets from one home to another. They have candles and sometimes the lead person carries a small alter with a statue of Mary on it. They sing prayers as they walk. When they reach the persons home there is more praying. The next night the posada leaves from that house and onto the next, and so on. The kids get candies and goodies in pinatas for Christmas.
In the days leading up to Christmas we saw many people carrying replica dolls of baby Jesus around town. They were dressed in clothing and usually wrapped in a blanket. We are not sure but think they might be taking them to church to be blessed. They were carried so delicately that sometimes we thought it was a real baby until we got closer. We saw a young girl walking down our street with a baby Jesus. She held her hand up and shielded his face from the wind and dust flying around as she walked past us. We saw men carrying them as well.
The main jardin (square) of town was decorated with a large Christmas tree. It had live potted poinsettias covering it from top to bottom. There are poinsettias everywhere you look in town. There are a couple of streets with vendors selling poinsettias throughout the holiday. They were much cheaper than what we pay for them at home.
There are large decorative pinatas hanging from wires that cross many of the streets. The main gift children receive on Christmas day is to break open a pinata full of candies and small toys. There are specific pinata stores here. They have a variety of different pinata characters and shapes and all the fixings to stuff them with.
A Great Community New Years Celebration
New Years was a lot of fun. We had planned to go out to one of the restaurants or bars to celebrate, but there was no need. The main square in town was full of a few thousand people. They had a live Mexican band and lots of fireworks. As midnight approached more and more people were lighting huge sparklers. You had to watch out so that your hair or clothing was not catching on fire in the crowds.
A Nice Birthday Surprise, A Hotel With Our Own Private Rooftop Patio and Jacuzzi Tub
I had a very nice surprise for my birthday. Jack got us a hotel right beside the main square in town. We had a two level suite with a rooftop patio with a jacuzzi. We had incredible city views from the rooftop. The suite had a nice king size bed, t.v. internet, and a fireplace. There was another nice bathtub inside the suite as well.
We had dinner out at a restaurant where I even got to have a nice piece of grilled salmon, yummmm. Unfortunately there was one drawback to the room, the darn clock tower in the square goes off all through the night. Ring, ring, ring goes the bell at 15 minute intervals!