December 22nd… Baking Day!

Jorge, Joanna and Carlos: Christmas 1985
Jorge, Joanna and Carlos: Christmas 1985

When Carlos and Maggie were little guys, they felt lucky to have two days of Christmas celebrations…

On Christmas Eve, after Mass at La Iglesia de la Tercera Orden, we’d walk a short distance for “Navidad” at Jorge’s downtown Merida family home. There were always dozens of cousins, fire crackers, a piñata and special foods. The kids got to stay up late and listen to stories of their Dad’s childhood pranks and there was gift opening at midnight. One year, an uncle dressed up like Santa Claus, and Maggie who was about 4 years old, saw through the ruse. But she giggled and played along…

And no matter how late Carlos and Maggie went to bed, they’d be up early, and anxious to open

Maggie and Carlos on Christmas Day 1985
Maggie and Carlos on Christmas Day 1985

the brightly wrapped presents under our own tree. In the evening, a collection of international friends showed up and we’d dine outside in the garden. The meal would be Canadian all the way… a big bird with all the trimmings.

Since those early years, our dinner has grown to include still more friends and “new” family members; and this one will be the first with a grandchild! Little Emma is our Christmas star in every way.

Emma, our Christmas star
Emma, our Christmas star

This will be my final blog post for the next few days; our home is a busy place all through December, and with just 3 days left before Christmas, we are hurrying to get everything ready in time.

Today’s pie and cookie making marathon will be followed this evening by the traditional caroling at the Iglesia de la Terera Orden (the corner of Calle 60 and 59) at 9:00 pm. Everyone is welcome, so do come by to join us…

A tropical Christmas tree
A tropical Christmas tree

Tomorrow morning will be set aside for getting groceries. Before the stores open, I like to meet my long-time friend for breakfast. We enjoy this annual quiet moment before facing the endurance-testing quest for yams, green beans and “just-the-right-size” turkey. Both of us know we’ll probably need to drive through the holiday traffic to many places. This is my 37th Christmas in Yucatan and I have yet to encounter one-stop shopping.

I cook much of the Canadian Christmas feast on the 24th, and usually find myself finishing up gift wrapping too!

At 7:00 pm on Christmas Eve, our family will attend the English language Mass at Las Monjas Church (Calle 63 between 64 and 66). We are going to be part of the choir this year… a first time experience for us all. If you like to sing (even if you don’t think you do it well) or if you can play a guitar, tambourine, castanets, bells, bongos or whatever… we welcome you to be part of it all.

A traditional tree in the tropics
A traditional tree in the tropics

I imagine that many readers will shake their heads over our frantic preparations; indeed it is quite crazy! But all the running around, the last-minute gift buying and wrapping, the inevitable burned fingers from a too-hot roasting pan, and finally, the rolling of eyes following many sentimental toasts are to be cherished… Christmas is a splendid and magical time for our extended family.

Our Family: Christmas 2013
Our Family: Christmas 2013

And from my heart, I wish the same joy for you and yours!

10 thoughts on “December 22nd… Baking Day!”

  1. As always, so enjoyed reading your blog. What a splendid Christmas with the entire family plus one…..We’ll be thinking of you, here in the snow. Burke just left to go skiing with Blake (son) and Tracy with kids in Whistler, while I look after dog Tallinn. They’ll be back tonight and we will have dinner with them on Christmas Day. The entire family is coming over for opening of the Christmas stockings and Christmas Eve we’ll go to Christ Church Cathedral for a service with light supper afterwards here.
    Enjoy your extended family and Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you Hanneke… Burke skiing after his “memorable” birthday!?! Quite a few congratulations are in order indeed… Have a wonderful time and we will look forward to seeing you in the New Year. Still no firm plans, but the Canadian trip will happen in 2014

  2. Very best wishes to all of you.
    Do take a ‘family photo’ of all of you after the presents are opened, in all the mess, then in 10 years you can have a great ‘I remember when . . . ‘ session.
    See you soon.

  3. Merry Christmas, peace to you and your’s in the new year. I suspect that 2014 is going to be a good year- Optimism is the basic nature of being a liberal minded person, we know at the most inner part of our being that with effort, we can make the world a better place. Peace be with you dear women.

  4. A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours. Got an email today from my sister in Toronto and they had a terrible ice storm over the weekend with power outages all over the city and province for at least 24 hours. Not much fun so am grateful to be in a warm climate and the rain instead of ice, power outages and unsafe driving conditions.

  5. Wow! It looks like quite a frantic last few hours. And baking in Mérida! I can’t imagine. It must be infernal in your kitchen.


    Kim G
    San Francisco, CA
    Where it’s good baking weather almost all year long.

    1. Actually December 22nd was a good baking day… not hot enough, even in the baking center of the house, to break out in a good sweat. It was very pleasant as most days are in Merida at THIS time of year.

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