Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Today, the truck arrived, the wheelbarrows were loaded, and the gardening crew began filling the flower beds of Oaxaca’s zócalo…

Truck filled with poinsettias

Workers with wheelbarrows filled with poinsettias

Worker digging up flower bed, with poinsettias in pots in background

Mass of red and one white poinsettias in flower bed.

Navidad is coming to Oaxaca!

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A few weeks ago, my neighbor gave me the following poem based on the Clement C. Moore classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.  The author, she said, was unknown.  The reference librarian in me couldn’t resist doing a little digging and found that this is Texas Public Radio DJ Ernie Villarreal’s version of the song, Pancho Claus, by Chicano music legend, Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero.


‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through la casa
Not a creature was stirring, Caramba! ¿Que pasa?

Los ninos were all tucked away in their camas,
Some in vestidos and some in pajamas.
While Mama worked late in her little cocina,
El viejo was down at the corner cantina.

The stockings were hanging con mucho cuidado,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would feel obligado
To bring all the children, both buenos y malos,
A Nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

Outside in the yard, there arouse such a grito,
That I jumped to my feet, like a frightened cabrito.

I went to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world, do you think que era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero
Came dashing along like a crazy bombero!

And pulling his sleigh instead of venados,
Were eight little burros approaching volados.

I watched as they came, and this little hombre
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre.

¡Ay, Pancho! ¡Ay, Pepe! ¡Ay, Cuca! ¡Ay, Beto!
¡Ay, Chato! ¡¡Ay, Chopo! ¡Maruca
and ¡Nieto!

Then standing erect with his hand on his pecho
He flew to the top of our very own techo.
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chimenea.

Then huffing and puffing, at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala.

He filled the stockings with lovely regalos,
For none of the children had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud and seeming contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone like the viento.

And I heard him exclaim and this is VERDAD,
Merry Christmas to all, And to All ¡Feliz Navidad!


Multicolor star-shaped piñata against blue sky.

Piñata at the southeast corner of the zócalo in Oaxaca.

Paz y alegría a todos  ~~  Peace and joy to all.

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And the juxtapositions continue; the annual nativity scene set up on the zócalo in Oaxaca across from the Government Palace and the ongoing occupation by the women of San Juan Copala, not to mention the ubiquitous banners of  Section 22 of the Teachers’ Union.

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Then there were the impossibly cute kids and a rapid request from them.  “Mas despacio, por favor,” sez I.  A slow motion reply followed, “To-ma nu-es-tra fo-to,” sez the older girl.  And, so I did!

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…warms the night and the heart.

After a week (plus) of temps that dropped into the high 30s/low 40s during the night (Brrrr… central heating, what’s that?), sun, clear blue sky, and mild evening temperatures have returned.  It’s perfect weather for strolling around la ciudad, wandering in and out of artesania shops, doing a little stress-free Christmas shopping, and pausing every once in a while to absorb the scene.

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You might have noticed, the angel from Friday’s post successfully ascended the ladder and now graces the top of the stable.  And, along with bells and Rudolph, a Star of David hangs on the side of a building.  Interesting… this is the first time I’ve seen it as part of holiday decorations.  By the way, there are no synagogues in Oaxaca.

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Oaxaca is gearing up for Christmas.  Thankfully, it is not (yet) as hectic and commercial as in el norte.  Though decorations have been been displayed, front and center, in my local Soriana super-mercado for at least a month, it is only in the last few days that the city’s electricians have been positioning lights on the trees around the zócalo…

Electrician positioning light on tree

to  illuminate the welcoming niño.

Mannequin of boy in sombrero and sarape

Lambs have begun appearing…

Long white-haired mannequin carrying lamb.

Angels are being elevated…

Workman about to carry an angel mannequin up a ladder.

Clothing is laundered in preparation for Navidad…

Female mannequin washing clothes as mannequins of lambs watch.

And, thousands of poinsettias have been brought in to add splashes of color to the beds beneath the 130+ year old Indian laurels.

Flower bed of poinsettias under Indian laurel tree.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Every year for 20+ years, on Christmas Eve day, my older son and I would take the ferry across the San Francisco Bay for a day of soaking in the holiday sights of the City. No shopping was allowed, save for a new ornament for the tree, but there was lots of walking, and hot chocolate for him and cafe mocha for me… a much needed warm-up from that damp San Francisco cold.

This year, with son remaining on the East Coast with his wife’s family, I jumped at the opportunity to meet an old (long time, not aged!) friend in the City on Dec. 24. I didn’t even consider driving or taking the bus; the mode of transport was to be the Larkspur Ferry. The weather cooperated… a day’s break from the relentless gray and wet.

San Francisco Ferry Building

Nothing but blue skies do I see... at the San Francisco Ferry Building.

San Francisco Ferry Building ceiling

Looking up... San Francisco Ferry Building

Port of San Francisco

You are now leaving the Port of San Francisco

It really is a beautiful city…

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Feliz Navidad

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