Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happy Holidays

I love poinsettias...la Flor de Noche Buena in Spanish. They don't really have Christmas trees in Mexico, at least not in Michoacán, though there are plenty of pine trees around. Just not the custom, which is fine by me. One of my strongest memories of the holiday season is the Mercado de la Independencia, Morelia's largest market, and its huge section of poinsettias for sale outside. Since it was only a few blocks from our house in the Centro, and the place where we did most of our food shopping, I visited that section of the market a lot. We brought a big one home and put a few presents around it, and that and the blinking plastic Virgen of Guadalupe on the wall, plus Doug's homemade menorah were our holiday decorations that year.

Since then, we have been able to acquire a few quality pieces of artesania that are available to folks who wish to deviate from the usual. Need a menorah? How about a stunning one with black
glaze from the Purepecha village of Santa Fe de la Laguna? Or a clay Nacimiento (nativity) from Ocumicho?

The embroidered scene above has it all: the baby Jesus, a piñata, and even a Christmas tree. Looks like a wonderful time.
I have recently discovered a great new website. Lots of food info plus Mexican culture in general. Please check it out, and then of course come back here. There is great information about piñatas and some folks who actually make them on: Mexico Cooks!
El Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe is December 12th...the official start of the holidays in Mexico. It's also the beginning of Chanukah this year.
I wish you all Feliz Navidad y Chanukah and a very happy, healthy, prosperous, and peaceful New Year!


  1. We do have Christmas trees in Mexico. There are even Christmas tree farms in Michoacan and Edomex. Before Nov. 20 Walmart had real Christmas trees for sale -- and so will Costco and Mega. Costco and Sears have had artificial trees for sale in the Christmas decor department since September.

  2. Thanks for the correction, Jennifer. I haven't been in Michoacán around Christmas for a while, and when I was there, I didn't see them, but I never shopped at those stores. I just know that in 2003 I attended Christmas Eve parties at two homes and those friends didn't have trees. So I wonder if things are changing as a whole, or just in those stores which are catering to the Mexican middle-class who are eager to copy our North American ways.