In Mexico, as in many other parts of the world, family gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. This event followed Christmas Dinner which is also served on Christmas Eve. My mother had a Norwegian background and we did a slight variation of this theme when I was young as well. Gifts were opened Christmas eve (except for Santa’s of course) but dinner was on Christmas Day.
We were accepted as part of an extended family by our wonderful and generous Mexican neighbours, Hector and Martha, who included us in their celebrations and explained everything as it was happening. We had a candlelight procession, or posada around the RV park representing Joseph and Mary's search for shelter to give birth in. Lines were read from a script as we stopped at doors (well, really only one door, but we made do) and were repeatedly sent on our way. Finally a room was found and everybody knows the ending of the story.
One of our neighbours is Jewish and she asked if she could bring her Menorah over to light. She was immediately encouraged to do so, so she went to her RV to get it. She was happily received by the group (mostly Catholic, with the odd exception, including your lone Atheist) and everyone watched respectfully as she went through her ceremony.
Umberto, the owner of the Park came over with a huge bucket of hot fruit punch and a big bottle of rum for everyone and then lit a bonfire in the common area. The Pinata then appeared with all the kids (and Norma) getting a whack at it.
Karaoke followed with most joining in. I did not as I cannot carry a tune in a sack. Everyone had a great time. Sergio, one of the park residents who is a Professor of Anthropology and History at the University in Mexico City, took the mike and sang a long song in which he sang a couple of lines and then the crowd repeated the last word. It was interesting enough on it's own but then one of our Mexican friends explained to me that it was a very important song in Mexico and told the history of Mexico City. Needless to say, we were very impressed and honoured to be included in the gathering and we learned much of the wonderful Culture of this Country.
The Happy Crowd
Sergio & Estrella Dancing
The Menorah Lighting
Hector and Martha: "Look, we are dancing!"
Hector: "Look, I can sing too!"
Charlotte: "That's my dad singing!"
Sergio and the Singing History Lesson.
Martha: "It's pretty small for a Harley, dad!"
Hector: "Yes mom, I'm keeping my new shirt clean!"