Christmas is many things. Excessive consumerism (I love presents), a time for family and feasts, snowmen and pine trees, the birth of Jesus, or just another day and for those of us who must spend Christmas in Mexico it can be difficult to reconcile your vision of this holiday with the reality. Adapting and patience are really the only way to make life in a foreign country easier, but, it’s not always easy.
A few years ago I bought two Christmas trees. The first turned brown and dropped all its needles in the first week so I bought a replacement. Frustrated with the expense and mess, I succumbed to the after-Christmas sales and bought a huge all-white, artificial Christmas tree. I’ve always wanted one and a white tree is classic 60s kitsch, which you don’t find much of here in Mexico. But then last year, as I decorated it in assorted gumball colours, it became too much or not enough.
I missed the smell of fresh pine needles. I missed the charm of evergreen branches, and truly, everything looks better under a green tree. So this year I am done with unicorn coloured Christmas decorations and I’ve gone all-natural. I might not have my family here, or the 30 billion, trillion presents of years past, but I WILL have a real Christmas tree.
On the other hand, a traditional Christmas dinner is for turkeys. I’m making a reservation at Season’s PV where they’ll do all the cooking and cleaning up! Win. Win. Adapting like a pro.
Lots of great events happening this weekend including three huge fundraiser gala events including Casa Yvonnaka’s fundraiser for local animal rescue groups, the SETAC Red Ribbon Gala at Casa Karma and the Pasitos de Luz fundraiser, also at Casa Karma. The Black and White Welcome Back Ball for Amigo’s de La Cruz is also this weekend with a top secret location, Corazon de Niña has a cooking class with local celeb chef Mavi Graf on Saturday evening for only $500 and my personal fave, the Mescal tasting at Dante’s Di Vino.
The Star Wars fundraiser at Galerias on Saturday would be perfect for any die-hard fans or kids that are obsessed the characters. I know if my son was ten years younger we’d be there for the full six hours. Grab a toy, or your wallet, or both – and make Christmas a little better for a needy child. It’s also the Chili Cook-off event in Nuevo Vallarta this weekend. This fundraiser is going on 17 years. Money raised helps children with cleft palettes and the Navy League’s Toy’s for Tots program. Pam Thompson will be at the Saturday Olas Altas Farmer’s Market accepting much needed donations to help the Regional Hospital who have run out of even the most basic supplies. Check her column for all the details. There is no shortage of events and opportunities to give back this weekend. Out you go. Spread the holiday cheer.
And finally we are in week two of the Peregrinations. Each night until December 12, devout Catholics take to the streets on a pilgrimage to the Lady of Guadalupe Church. The streets are lined with crowds watching the dancers, musicians as well as the families, businesses and individuals who are participating in the parades. This is a wonderful, cultural event that should be experienced, at least once. The crowds can get quite large so don’t drive or you’ll be stuck in traffic for hours. Take the bus, walk or Uber. Also wear lose fitting pants as the street food is incredible!
My momma comes this week, so I’m off exploring with her. Will report back with news of rare butterfly sightings!
Have a great week.