‘Tis Nochebuena in Oaxaca and all is well. The sun is shining and goodwill is felt on the streets and in the mercados. Casita Colibrí is festooned with seasonal decorations both outside and in.
Tonight, posadas from throughout the city will converge on the zócalo with Josés, Marías holding baby Jesús, and angels on flatbed trucks; pinwheels, sparklers, and fireworks will light the night sky; brass bands will play; and China Oaxaqueñas will dance. I can’t wait! In the meantime, may Ernie Villarreal’s version of Pancho Claus by Chicano music legend, Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero, bring the gift of joy to those near and far.
‘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!
May you all find peace and joy every day of the year.
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