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Merry belated Christmas! I got many thoughtful gifts this year, including a binder full of the emails I’d sent during my two years in Mexico City. So for a quick Christmas post, here’s excerpts of Christmas in Mexico:

Christmas 2000

We were invited to a family’s home for Christmas Eve, when Mexicans celebrate. It was a friend of ours, her mother and brother, aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandmother. We had dinner at midnight and it was delicious, and very different from the ubiquitous turkey in Canada. There was pumpkin soup, a spicy fish dish, pork, chicken mole, beef, shrimp dumplings, mashed potatoes, spaghetti, apple salad, and probably many other dishes I’m forgetting. I couldn’t possibly have tried them all and not exploded, but I tried my best. …

Christmas Day it seems everyone packs into the Alameda, a central park close to where we live. We went there to get our picture taken with the Three Kings (they take over the same venue where Santa used to be) and it’s a hilarious photo. [I can’t find it at the moment, but it was my friend and I sitting with Los Reyes Magos in one of those Santa setups, and bizarre items like stuffed Teletubbies in the background]. It put us in a good, Christmasy mood. Then we had a turkey dinner at a restaurant and went to some non-Mexican friends’ house to socialize (translation: drink, eat, and play Risk, believe it or not.)

Christmas 2001

Feliz Navidad! Prospero Año Nuevo! A bit late, but my seasonal organization went out the window. I had every intention of sending actual Christmas cards but was foiled by the fact that few stores sell boxes of cards here. I wanted to get these great ones with Mexican Christmas artwork, and the proceeds go to a charity, but they are only sold at the charity’s office which was open only while I was at work. Then I thought of sending email Christmas cards but had a busy week before taking a week off work (I usually email from work). Then I thought of sending just an email to everyone and didn’t get a chance to do even that since my mom was here for Christmas and I didn’t do a lot of emailing. So do intentions count? It’s New Years Day now and I’m (sniff, sob) at work. But I just had a week off — the longest holiday so far since I’ve been here. So now I can say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may your new year’s resolution be to write Diane more.

This was my second Mexican Christmas but my least Mexican of the two. Last year I celebrated with a Mexican family, but this year my mom became a rent-a-mom for all my coworkers who were still in town and assorted Mexican friends who celebrated Christmas Eve with their families and were looking for an excuse to get out of the house. It was a good time and everyone was so grateful to have a mom-cooked meal.