My First Christmas in México

December 16, 2011

My first Mexican Christmas was in 1994.  My son was attending college in Colima and had just moved into an unfurnished house.  We spent the first week or so of my visit traveling and buying things that he needed for his house.  If you remember, in December of 1994 there was an economic crisis in México, and the peso rapidly devalued.  While this was a terrible time for those with their funds tied up in pesos, it made my funds stretch further for travel and when buying articles for the house.

We traveled by bus to Uruapan, Pátzcuaro and Morelia.  It was a wonderful trip.  I remember being freezing cold in Pátzcuaro, and getting up in the morning to buy sweet rolls from a cart. We ate our sweets and drank atole sitting in a patch of sun nearby.  In Morelia I took thousands of pictures of lovely old door hardware as we walked around Centro and one day we went to a fantastic Morelia – Mexico City soccer game.

My Mexican Family
(Left) Kids dancing late at night in the kitchen, (Right) Martha, her mom, and me, (Front) and a family group at a mine somewhere near Guanajuato (I think)

At some point we connected up with his girlfriend’s family and traveled with them from Leon to Guanajuato. We ended up spending Christmas at her uncle’s home in Irapuato.  Everyone made me feel very welcome, and I especially enjoyed learning about their Christmas traditions.  One that I loved was when we all held hands while standing near the Christmas tree, each of us speaking a few words having to do with thankfulness and our hope for the future. There weren’t piles of presents underneath the tree, just one for each child. Christmas eve was filled with food preparation and eating a late dinner that lasted into the wee hours of the morning.  Everyone was laughing, drinking, roasting peanuts on a comal, and dancing in the kitchen all night long.

It was wonderful to be included so warmly in their Christmas trip and festivities, as I was only the mother of their daughter’s boyfriend.  On that trip I learned how important family is to the Mexican people, and that means all family.  I felt a bit like royalty, partly because I was Adam’s mother and partly because I was a guest.  All these years later I still think about the hospitality that was extended to me then and try my best to practice what I learned.

That Christmas was a wonderful introduction into what it means to be family in México.  It means everything.

My family
December 2011

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. So true, Nancy. The love of family and the sharing of everything whether abundant or not; one of the many things I love about Mexico. I can tell you, we will surely miss being seated around your dining room table this Xmas and sharing that wonderful day with you and those you invite. Always the best. And always the best to you and yours from us this season.

      1. The best to you and John, too. I bet you’ll enjoy being closer to family this holiday.

    1. Nancy,
      Those are wonderful pictures from the past! I like how you wove the past into the present. I agree that “family” is very important and I thank you for the heartfelt reminder.

      1. Terry, Thanks so much, I knew I wanted to write a post about Christmas in Mexico for the blog hop but couldn’t come up with an idea for the longest time! I looked high and low in my computer for images and then realized that they were in a photo album! Talk about the dark ages! It was wonderful to see my son and his family when I was in Mexico City earlier this month, too. Take care!

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