Christmas in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico
Christmas in Mexico
Every year about this time magazines, newspapers and television are full of heart warming Xmas stories from around the world.
My favorites are those of lonely children who have house pets like a donkey or wolverine and through the magic of the season discover the true meaning of Christmas. They always end with the gruff but hard working father, who has been a real schmuck to this point, saying “I guess I was wrong about your wolverine Johnny. That reward money for saving the town has made this the best Christmas ever. If your mom was alive to see this she’d be very proud of you.” Hugs all around.
Bells on the roof and faint Ho Ho Ho and I’m a bag o’mush. There is something magical about Christmas that goes deeper than receiving a Silex Salad Shooter but what is it? And can you really get that warm feeling here without snow? To me, like most Christians, Christmas Eve is a roast goose for supper bundling up and going to church tucking the children into bed, turning the Alistair Sim’s version of “A Christmas Carol” poring a cognac, setting a fire, trying to assemble toys that have an instruction booklet written by either electrical engineers from MIT or some factory guy with the communication skills of a fern (i.e. … then turn the left cuff screw clockwise ‘til you hear a click as seen in fig. 762) Not only do I not know what a left wing cuff screw is but fig. 762 looks, to me, like instructions on a deboning a sparrow. But it is part of Christmas and I love it.
I’m worried that here in Mexico things will be different. I hate different when it comes to Christmas. Instead of roasting chestnuts on an open fire will I be at the coffee table cutting earwigs in half with the TV Guide? Jack Frost is replaced with Juan Sunstroke. And what about the food? Do they have egg nog here or is it called huevos revoltus nog? How do you say Ho HO Ho in Spanish? Plum pudding with hard salsa sounds weird. And I can just see the kids’ faces light up when they get an orange in their stocking. “Wow” they say, “ now we don’t have to go the garden and pick one ourselves”
Maybe I should just accept the fact that it will be different. Change can be good. Being open to new things can enrich our lives. But we have been here for four months now and between the fiestas de Octubre and Noviembre, the Kimono Fashion Show, parades and celebrating various Virgins, I’m enriched enough.
What I really want is to go to Sears and rumble with some old ladies over the last of the Mighty Power Rangers Action Figures. Eat elbow old women. It’s mine and I saw it first. Get your terminally ill grandson something else.” Let’s face it. Scenes like this embody the holiday season. Old fashioned peace on earth good will toward Mastercard. Stuff that you just don’t see enough of down here.
Deep in my heart I know that ChristmasNavidad here will be fantastic. Church will be beautiful. I’ll cry when I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” I’ll eat too much and I’ll get just as excited watching the kids open presents. Not so different really Now I just have to learn how to say Ho Ho Ho in Spanish.