I have never been too much into the Christmas holidays but in glorious San Miguel de Allende they are a magical time of year. The Jardin is all ablaze and glittering with tiny white lights and lit stars. And there are holiday decorations strewn about the various streets as people get into the spirit. Everywhere bright Noches Buenos or poinsettias are seen.
The thing that impresses me the most is that it is not the overly commercial fiasco that I don’t like in the States. In Mexico the holidays are much more about family and tradition. For the 9 days leading up to Christmas there are posadas in both Centro and the Colonias. Some larger than others. These represent the nine day journey of Joseph and Mary in search of an inn to have their baby. Parades go through the streets with people knocking on doors trying to find shelter while singing traditional songs and saying prayers. It is sort of like Mexican caroling. Interspersed are bouts with pinatas as children bang them to oblivion to find their treats. It is so much fun to behold. Ours finished at the Parroquia San Antonio where everyone entered into the side of the church. At the end of their visit they leave to be greeted with food and drink for all. We were lucky enough to have three posadas go down our street in Colonia San Antonio.
Our friend Julia from Oakland came down to spend Christmas week with us and another friend Beany was visiting her friend Nini in town too so on Sunday we all headed out to Zandunga for a raucous good time. Also joining us were Beany’s niece Samantha and our good friends Phyllis and Kim, who just moved here two months ago. We make it a point of trying to get to Zandunga every time we have visitors for the great music and food. For a glimpse into a trip to Zandunga see our previous post.
Christmas Eve found us at a local restaurant for believe it or not, Thai food since our original choice fell through. It was a merry night with lots of wine and we all got a present from the restaurant owners at the end of the evening. We were going to try and make it into the Jardin for fireworks but were too tired so we headed home for visions of sugar plums dancing in our head.
Christmas day for us was quiet. Julia joined her friends for a tour through the botanical gardens. But the tour leader didn’t show so they ended up just doing a nice hike there instead. That was the second tour they had attempted to do that the guide didn’t turn up for. So much for the “Que Pasa” in the Atencion being correct. Since we had spent a bit on the prix fixe menu the night before we decided that Glenn would just cook a nice meal at home and we would hang out and watch the big screen.
In Mexico the big day for gifts is not Christmas Day but Three Kings Day (el Dia de Reyes) on the 6th of January, 12 days after Chrismas. This is to commemorate when the Magi came bearing gifts to the Christ Child. We are looking forward to that as there is supposed to be a big parade in the afternoon which will be fun for Phyllis and Kim to see as they haven’t witnessed one yet.
San Miguel de Allende is cold this time of year and we are thinking of escaping to the Yucatan again next year at this time for some warmth. So we will see how the Christmas season is down in Merida and how it compares. We have missed our family and friends up north, but we have really enjoyed how festive it has been in San Miguel and have loved our first Christmas in our new home country.