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The Greatest Asset of Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico

We have many wonderful assets in Ajijic, Lake Chapala but perhaps our greatest asset is the best climate in the world. They say Kenya is good too but, for us, the proximity of Ajijic, Lake Chapala to friends and family up north outweighs the possible benefits of the Kenyan climate.

Every winter I feel very sorry as I watch CNN to see the thermometer plummet in the northern part of our continent.

In the 16 years that we have been fortunate enough to live in Ajijic we have ventured north to Toronto, Canada twice for Christmas. The first year was 1997 and that was a horrendous experience as we had a flat tire on the Gardiner Expressway and had to wait for help in freezing rain and snow and we clearly had forgotten that one winter coat was not adequate to keep out the chill.

Surprisingly there had been snow falling in Guadalajara that year and we were at a function at La Nueva Posada. It was mentioned that it had not snowed in 100 years and my husband noted that there were only one or two people present who remembered that snowfall.

We did, of course, enjoy the time with friends and family but we were jolly happy to scamper home to our beautiful village in the sun.

The second foray north was in 2007. The weather again was freezing and I remember clinging to our son’s girlfriend for warmth as we went to do some Christmas shopping. It was very busy at this particular shopping plaza and we had to park the car a long way away from the stores. This is when I thought the notion of a lump of coal for each person on your list was a swell custom.

Now there is another very cold snap on the east coast from Canada to Florida and they are asking the question “is it too cold for Christmas?”

For those lucky enough to live or be spending the holidays in Ajijic, Lake Chalapa that is not a question we ever have to contemplate. 99% of the time our weather is perfect and, yes, you might need a sweater or sweatshirt in the evenings during December and January but the days are still warm and sunny, the flowers are blooming and everywhere you look the poinsettias are growing in gay profusion.

People are happy and even friendlier than usual as they go about their daily chores and there is an overall feeling of how lucky we all are.

The stores are filled with wonderful Christmas ideas and the restaurants emit wonderful aromas of good food and seasonal delicacies to tempt us.

The streets are decorated and there are an abundance of fireworks and rockets (cuetes) lighting up the evening skies.

It is a truly beautiful time of year. The sun is shining. People are still playing golf and tennis and we are still eating meals outdoors. Many restaurants have cozy fireplaces or chimeneas that are brightly lit to make your dining experience warm and toasty.

We no longer own a snow shovel, ice scrapper nor do we have to purchase large bags of rock salt to get out of our driveways. Life is good. I still watch CNN to see the horrors of northern winters and count our blessings that we not longer get depressed when winter and, therefore, the cold weather is coming.

To many Mexicans this is their favorite time of year and second to the rainy season we love it too.

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