Editor’s Note: Feliz Navidad – Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays!

Feliz Navidad a todos! When you’re celebrating Christmas far from home, and the traditions are different it can feel a little off. I suppose with climate change many of us no longer celebrate a white Christmas but there is something about walking around in a bathing suit on December 25th that makes the holiday seem less about the commercialism and more about enjoying friends and family.  

I remember one of my first Christmases in Mexico, we were in Sayulita for a family holiday so rather than splurging on all the excess we usually enjoyed, we kept it simple. Decorating a plant in the house and wrapping small gifts bought in the town. But despite her instance that we don’t buy any gifts over $10, come Christmas morning my mother the absolute ‘Queen of Christmas’ managed to buy and decorate a Christmas tree, pull out dozens of gifts she’d brought with her and others she’d bought on the sly. She just couldn’t help herself.  

Luckily for those in my life, I suffer the same affliction as my mother, and you’ll likely find me at 10pm on Christmas Eve buying packs of pinguinos and air fresheners at the corner Oxxo, just so you know I love you just that much more.  

This year I am, for the first time in my 43 years, alone for Christmas. No kid. No husband. No mother. No family. But as happens to so many of us who call Mexico home, your friends become your family and this year I have multiple invitations for many posadas and dinners. I’m already planning my route and have laid out my elastic waist pants!  

If you haven’t attended a traditional posada, the children of Corazon de Nina are opening their home and inviting you to join them for their posada on December 21. For 500 pesos you’ll enjoy traditional Mexican Christmas buffet, ponche, carols, games and more festivities. You can find all the details on the calendar of events page in this week’s Tribune.  

On Saturday, head to the ‘lighthouse’ on the Malecon with your furry friends for photos with Santa. A 250 pesos donation goes to the Acopio (City Animal Shelter), and you have some adorable photos to post on Facebook and Instagram.  

If the Christmas holidays aren’t your thing – well, how about trying a new restaurant? Ajo Negro (Calle Francia 425, Open 8am – midnight) recently opened their doors in Versalles, and it’s a gourmet Mexican menu with impeccable presentation, the main dishes were perfect, and the desserts were even better. It’s an elegant space, perfect for enjoying the generous 80 peso pours of the house vino tinto.  

Or take to the waters on a moonlight SUP through Los Arcos with the guys from Paddle Zone Mismaloya. I haven’t done it – mostly because I’m terrible at paddle boarding – but I hear it is a transcendent experience, complete with turtles, humpback whales, and phosphorescents.  Details in the events page. 

A quick shout out to Bruce Howells, who writes our bi-weekly column – Busing the Bay; he has stepped up to manage the Live Music calendar. He’s a local expert when it comes to where the best music can be found around the bay and has shared all his wisdom with us. Muchas Gracias Bruce!  

One last weekend for shopping at the local markets and shops for those gifts you just need to buy. Please continue to support local.  

I wish a bright and sunny Christmas to all. May Santa find your stocking and fill it full. 

Merry Christmas.  

Madeline