We wish you all a happy Holiday Season, wherever you are!
Our Christmas Day was a truly memorable one, filled with plenty of joy, laughter, and a few surprises. It started "normally" enough for some North American transplants - the kids waking up way, WAY too early, rushing up in search of Santa's loot. Will's biggest concern was whether or not Santa spoke English in Mexico and the potential for gift request mishaps due to translation issues. He even left a post-it note asking Santa to check the boxes on which language he spoke in Mexico: English or Spanish. Santa checked both.
|Xmas lunch - Mexico style...|
And doing so, it just made snese to have the kids bust open a piñata filled with candy out on the patio. However, our gringo amateur status was evident in the coco-crispy explosion that resulted, requiring a major piñata "time out" for technical difficulties...
|Alya shows off the spoils of war...|
Add to that the nightly (yes, every single night) of parades and processions beginning 9 days prior to Xmas, along with nightly fireworks, and you know something big is in the air.
The day itself is one of, like back north, relative calm: this is a family day. Yet the persistent explosions of fireworks throughout the day remind us that we aren't in Illinois...So, like most of you (at least those of you with kids), we went thru the spectacle of opening presents, eating of lots of candy (thanks to the piñata) and treats, playing our games that Santa brought, and enjoying some family time. Yet it was fittingly modest - and much more enjoyable as a result. Less presents meant less stress and more time for us to have fun & play together (and if felt good not buying a bunch of crap from China). This was one of my favorite Xmas days ever!
|One of many neighborhood market stalls selling various Xmas goods. Notice the variety:|
lights, greens, trinkets, etc...
|Gummy bears for Xmas - why not?|
|New jammies! Yeah!|
|Leftovers - at least we'll recycle it via art projects...|
|Our tree that Charlie Brown would love...|
|Sometimes the wrapping is as much fun as the gifts...|
So we played many rounds of Uno Spin (it took about five rounds to figure out the appropriate translation of the more technical sections of the Spanish-only rule book), Loteria (basically a Mexican version of bingo, albeit with a much more interesting assortment of space designations: instead of B6, e.g., you call out such things as Death, the Devil, the Drunkard, the Parakeet, the Cactus, the Pear, etc..... see photo).
|Look closely... there's something for everyone here...|
And the most humorous moment of our day was, without doubt, when, after nearly forty minutes of intense concentration and careful placement that would have made a mine-layer proud, Will and Tom managed to rig a battery operated intruder alarm rigged to Will and Alya's bedroom door specifically intended to notify us of the unwanted entry of any moms or sisters.
|Shot from manual on how the "intruder alert" should, in theory, work...|
About an hour later, after commanding the kids to get ready for bed, Alya somehow knowingly stepped aside unassumingly enough not to remind Will that he had set the alarm in the first place, and he plowed through, proving we had constructed things well. After Alya rolled her eyes and gave Janan what was later described only as "the look", Janan passed on some worthy maternal advice to her daughter, saying "Just so you know, this will happen so many times in your life, and you will always know so much more about what's going on than they will. Trust me - it's both a blessing and a curse." And Will made me very, very proud, when he, without missing a beat, exclaimed, "I meant to do that. I was testing it to make sure it worked." Always reassuring to see a son carrying a father's torch...
I hope that made you laugh, as we are still giggling about it (could be the wine).