Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
MEXICO KEEPS CHRISTMAS SACRED AND SAVES THE PRESENTS FOR LATER
My first Christmas Eve in Mexico was a let down. I did my usual Christmas
rituals with my family which, miraculously, were all present. Twelve of us. No grandchildren yet. I traipsed out to find a church expecting very special trappings.
I don’t especially like Mexico churches at night because their beautiful
lamps and candelabras often have LED lights or there are neon strip lights highlighting statues in their niches. So the atmosphere can be a little bleak and
harsh. But I thought Christmas would be different. Nope. Normal mass and communion. Not lots of people. I went back to our Mexico house disappointed.
Christmas morning is the time for a more elaborate and celebratory service.
The streets were full. No one was home unwrapping presents; there weren’t any. Christmas is not secular at all.
The 6th of January is all about presents. And it makes sense. It is Three Kings Day when the three kings made it to the manger. So—-presents are set out for the children to find in the morning and families gather for the festive,
crowded, hectic parties we associate with Christmas Eve and Day.
I so prefer the Latin or Mexican approach. I hate tainting the holy with the secular, commercial aspects of Christmas. And I’m fine with the gift giving for kids only on Three Kings Day. Keeps every thing in its right place. Makes sense.