Last week I began to feel a bit sad that I wouldn't be with my family in Oregon this year. Gary and I had decided to stay in our home in San Miguel de Allende and enjoy a Mexican Christmas. The following days, I began to embrace this idea as I saw the beauty of the season all around me. It' really began to unfold during our five day stay in Mexico City two weeks ago. We watched the huge Christmas tree lit up in the Zocolo (the city's main plaza). We enjoyed ushering in the holidays there.
A highlight of our holiday trip was to visit the Retrospective Exhibit of the Javier Marin's sculptures. Marin is one of Mexico's foremost sculptors, working in Clay, Bronze, and many other mediums. He has sculptures displayed around the world. His figurative work is amazing and I was inspired. Working in clay at the Barro.Co studio in San Miguel has fed my creative muses this past year and this was a special "meal" of artistic delights.
|Jose Marin's sculpture exhibit at the|
Palacio de Cultura Banamex
Another highlight of our visit was the Christmas Choral Concert we attended at the magnificent Palacio de Belles Artes designed after the Opéra in Paris during the time of Porfirio Diaz, who admired the French. He asked the architect of that famous structure in Paris to design the Belles Artes for Mexico City. The concert was conducted by John Daly Goodwin (we know him as "Jack"), a friend in San Miguel who after a long career conducting in New York, moved to San Miguel and now spends his weekdays conducting the Mexico City Coro del Teatro de Bellas Artes, and his weekend in San Miguel. I met his lovely, wife, Ruth, herself a singer, in SMA through the Literary Sala three years ago. We were joined by several other friends and acquaintances and, after the concert, we all went to the Cafe Tacuba for a late night dinner. I knew then that Christmas holidays were going to be fulfilling in spite of the distance from my family.
|The beautiful Belles Artes, regrettably on an overcast morning|
|A Christmas tree at a Culinary Arts School and restaurant|
|A Mexico City Landmark|
| a mini-example of the many cakes on display|
The best part of our Mexico City visit was the wonderful reunion we had with friends we met 14 years ago in the suburb of Coyoachán, where Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera once lived. We met our dear amigos, Charro and Enrique on a street corner while perusing a map those many years ago. They stopped to help us and the rest is history. We had only seen them once in the last 14 years on a previous visit to Mexico City. At that time their now 14 year old daughter was about 8. We were thrilled they could come into the city and meet us on our last day there for breakfast at a lovely restaurant. It was fabulous to re-connect and we are looking forward to their visit with us in San Miguel at the end of January. Charro is a French teacher and her daughter Marianne speaks fluent French and English. We feel so blessed to have these dear friends in Mexico.
|Charro quickly zipped off this card to us via email after the waiter took a photo of all of us|
|Marianne and her mother, Charro|
Back in San Miguel, we saw the tree was up in the Jardin (the Central square), streets decorated with the traditional papeles picatos and lights. The roof dogs were being replaced by reindeer and the week of Guadalupe was fast upon us, a beautiful time, when Mexico's most important religious figure is celebrated.
|Our beautiful Parroquia, the parish church of San Miguel. |
Didn't get a photo of the tree this year!
|Reindeer are replacing our famous San Miguel "roof dogs"|
|Guadalupe is honored in the local Mercado San Juan de Dios|
|Shopping at the San Juan de Dios market|
|Picking up a Santa's Hat at the Local San Juan de Dios market,|
I met a darling neighbor, 8 year old Angel and his very nice mother
|It was fun to shop for surprises for the children who will be attending our Posada party|
|Another honouring of Guadalupe|
|Outside the market one can find lots of crepe paper and paper|
mache decorations for the holidays
|Picking out a Piñata for our Posada celebration was fun, too.|
Holidays are a time for singing and we sure did that at the San Miguel "Home for the Holidays" performance led by a wonderful group of our most talented singers and performers in San Miguel.
|Home for the Holidays was a big success|
with some of our best local talent
|Gary with our friend, Cynthia|
Last Saturday, our friends from France arrived in their RV. They are touring Latin America for the next six months. Joel is the son of a old college roommate, who married a Frenchman. They have three sons and we remember a Christmas many years ago when traveling to Europe with Two Kids and a Van, (my first book, published in 1973). At that time, Joel, the third boy, was not born. We later met him in France right after his and Chloe's first son, Leo was born. It's been a special holiday treat to see them again and host them in our home. The boys remind us of when our grandchildren were younger. Now, 22, 20, 18 and 15, our grandchildren are actively pursuing studies, new jobs and activities with friends. We miss them this holiday season but Joel and Chloe's boys have helped fill the void.