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Feliz Navidad from Ajijic Lake Chapala, Mexico

Here in Ajijic the expression for “Merry Christmas” is “Feliz Navidad”. There is no talk of politicial incorrectness in using this term and it always comes from the heart and is responded to by saying “igualmente” which basically means “same to you”.

Christmas is a beautiful season of all our many beautiful seasons in Ajijic, Lake Chapala. In almost every garden, poinsettias grow wild and they are wonderful to see. For years living n Toronto, Canada most of us thought they only came in pots.

There are fireworks and parades in most villages and a sense of peace and goodwill gently descends upon us all. (Unless you are last minute shopping in Guadalajara.)

One of my favorite rituals is the children’s posadas which are put on by most businesses. This is when children come to their doors and sing the Peticion de Posada which is a vocal reenactment of Mary and Joseph arriving at the Inn asking for shelter for the night. When the verses have been completed the children are allowed in and given various treats and candy. The children often ride down the streets dressed in costume and on donkeys.

Lights and decorations line the streets and our beautiful village in the sun becomes even more beautiful.

Many are away from families and friends and many have families and friends visiting to bet their loved ones for the holidays and to get out of the frozen north.

We thought Christmas would be very different without snow but we have not missed it in the slightest. Twice we went north for Christmas in the 16 years be have been lucky enough to live here and sure enough encountered snow and slush which was not as charming as we remembered it or as it is depicted in pictures or on TV.

Here in Ajijic, Lake Chapala Christmas Eve is the main event and Christmas day is a quieter day for rest and reflection on “why did we eat so much the night before?”

There are many fund raisers at this time of year for the animals but please also remember those little human faces that are not as fortunate as we are and it takes so little to put a smile on those little faces.

Another favorite this time of year is the Nutcracker Suite (Cascanueces) which is put on by local school children and staged at the Auditorium in La Floresta ably produced and directed by our very own Wayne Palfrey. This year the performance is on the 16th of December and you will not regret attending this wonderful Christmas event.

We would attend every year as our children were participating in it and now we all attend as a family.

There are many craft shows available to purchase items for Christmas and you can check the listings in the Guadalajara Reporter to find our where and when they are taking place.

Most of the restaurants have wonderful special menus for Christmas but Christmas Eve is usually in the home as many employees are given the night off to be with their families.

So if you are worried that Christmas will be a little lonely so far away from home just engross yourself in the community and you will have a lovely warm, albeit, slightly different Christmas.

Viva la diferencia y Feliz Navidad a todos.