Mexican Christmas Happenings

So, I seem to be on a once a month blog post plan lately.  There are 2 reasons for this: 1) finding the time to write blog posts with 2 kids 2 and under is bit harder than with 1 and 2) after a little over a year of living in Mexico we're starting to get the hang of it and there are fewer new experiences to tell you about.  However, the Christmas season is upon us and there is much celebrating to being done here in Mexico.

After 2.5 weeks of building and tinkering our next door neighbor finally completed the most elaborate nativity scene (el nacimiento) I have ever seen.  The scene, which depicts an entire town in biblical times, takes up about a 7'x7' space and is complete with working waterfall and stream.  I don't think that this picture does it justice, but it's the best I have right now.

Last night was the viewing party at which we chatted with some of our neighbors and drank ponche, which is a warm spiced punch and traditional drink for this time of year.

This morning I attended Eli's preschool Christmas party.  As far as I can tell Mexicans like to put their kids in costume for every holiday possible.  So, I dressed Eli up as a lamb (his assigned costume) and we headed off the party.

They thanked the parents for coming, told the story of Jesus' birth (this would never happen in a non-religious preschool in the U.S.!), and then asked a few parents to share how they celebrated Christmas in their house.   I was called on first.  Lucky me!  Given a little prep time and the chance to speak in my native language I don't mind public speaking, but impromptu public speaking in a foreign language is not my idea of fun!  Nonetheless, I managed to at least tell them that we celebrate with a Christmas tree, gifts, and the story of the birth of baby Jesus.

This was followed by the whole group of kids dancing. (Sorry for the poor video quality.)

Then the kids performed an interesting rendition of the Christmas story.  My Spanish isn't good enough to get it word for word, but I'll give the gist.

Joseph worked on his carpentry while Mary was in the kitchen.

Not 1, but 2 angels came to visit each of them while they slept.

Joseph exclaimed "A baby, but I'm only 4 years old!"

Mary and Joseph went on a walk and bought candy from a vendor.  Apparently, Mary had a pregnancy craving.  Then they headed to Bethlehem and poor pregnant Mary had to carry the donkey.

They made it to Bethlehem and a very large baby Jesus appeared.

The shepherds and sheep danced together and then the devil appeared and tempted them to dance more instead of going to see baby Jesus.  Can someone tell me where you find that part in the Bible?

Eventually they stopped dancing and followed the star to baby Jesus.  The wise men followed suit and presented gifts. (Sorry, I have some lengthy video, but not a good photo of this part.)

Then the whole group, including the devil, joined around baby Jesus.

See the toy in Eli's hand?  He stole it from the devil on more than one occasion during the performance.  I'm sure some sort of biblical analogy can be made here.  More importantly I probably need to spend a little more time teaching Eli not to steal toys from other kids (particularly babies).

This was followed by more dancing.  Eli was paired off with his cousin who spent much of the time telling him he was doing it wrong, while he ignored her and kept dancing.

And here's one final shot of my little lamb.

At least I can say it was entertaining with much of the original story mixed in as well!


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