December 24, 2012 – We are awaiting Christmas Day here at the Oak Creek RV Resort in El Cajon, this is a very nice park with all the amenities including a hot tub, all at a very reasonable price with our Passport America membership. We spent last evening at the Viejas Casino, took in free Christmas music and light show and dropped into the Casino for a little gambling which was fun but not very profitable, lol.
After we crossed back into the US on December 17th we went to the Viejas Casino to arrange repairs on the Tango. We needed to have electricity for the repairs and subsequently found Oak Creek RV Park, a Sunland RV Resort. We spent two (2) days at Oak Creek and Jim Hargrove, owner operator of RV Expert Mobile Service, came out diagnosed problem, (defective converter) ordered the parts and made the repairs the next day. As we suspected the Converter was fried, lucky we had Jim do the repairs, had we taken the Tango to a shop we could have waited for some time.
We also had Jim replace the toilet, we had a leak and the toilet was the problem, disappointing because the current toilet was only 9 months old, the original failed shortly after we bought the trailer in October 2011. Both of these items are covered by warranty according to the owner’s manual, stay tuned on how our claim makes out.
Repairs completed we headed off to Discover Baja and Hugh & Carol’s house in San Diego, we had lots of items to pick up, many errands to run and of course resupply. The Kramer’s graciously hosted our Casa Rodante curbside in front of their house with electricity for 3 days that included dinners! We had a chance to catch up on lots of Baja news and family updates, our strategic alliance with Discover Baja has certainly been one of our best decisions, both professionally and personally. We cannot say enough good things about Discover Baja including Monica and Maythe in the office, always so helpful and knowledgeable.
Christmas in Mexico
Getting a great head start on the rest of the world, Mexicans start celebrating on December 16. It seems that there are so many Christmas activities; they have to take several weeks to enjoy them all! Not surprisingly Mexicans share many traditions with the Spanish including their main Christmas celebration which is called La Posada, a religious procession that re-enacts the search for shelter by Joseph and Mary before the birth of Jesus. Nativity Scenes are very common and Mexicans revere the Nativity so much that they recreate it with “Las Posadas”. During the procession the celebrants go from house to house carrying the images of Mary and Joseph looking for shelter, re-enacting the birth of Christ.
Many people will also attend “Pastorelas” or plays about the shepards and their visit from the angel. In the spirit of a warm holiday, the outdoor markets offer sunny shopping, cool Christmas crafts and festivities last through 9 days! Although Mexican children do receive gifts on Christmas day, they are also blindfolded and taken to try and break a decorated clay piñata that dangles and swings at the end of a rope. Once the piñata has been broken, the children clamber to recover the candy that was inside the piñata. Those children who have been good also on January 6th receive a gift from the Three Wise Men. We have many fond memories of these celebrations as we stayed with Antonio Resendiz’s parents in Mexico City at Christmas in 1985. We were invited to celebrate Christmas with the entire extended family, Lisa and I and our children, Kirsty(4) and Ken(2) had a fabulous time, an event never to be forgotten. Antonio had only met us a few weeks earlier in Bahia de Los Angeles, the invitation to Mexico City and his family celebration illustrates the genuine and sincere hospitality offered by Mexicans not found among too many Canadians or Americans, particularly to relative strangers.
Mexicans also attend a midnight mass service which is called la Misa Del Gallo or “the rooster’s mass,” and at the mass they sing lullabies to Jesus. The Birth of Christ is very much the central theme to the Mexican celebration which is a significant change from the commercialized American and Canadian Christmas. As you can imagine because the Christmas trees have to travel far and become quite pricy, full sized trees are only found in the homes of the wealthy, but many others find a way to honor the evergreen by adding ornaments to a small branch or shrub.
Although Santa Claus is gaining more popularity in Mexico and sadly more commercialized the bright red poinsettia remains the traditional flower of the season. It is believed that a young boy walking to the church to see the nativity scene showing the birth of Jesus had realized on the way that he had no gift to offer the Christ child so he gathered up some plain green branches as he walked in he was laughed at but upon placing the branches near the manger they started to bloom a bright red poinsettia flower on each branch. Most do not know that the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a plant species of the diverse spurge family that is indigenous to Mexico and Central America.
Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad – Happy Holidays to everyone!