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