Thursday, December 10, 2009
Is it starting to feel like Christmas?
Usually at this time of the year I'm rushing about, trying to find the perfect gift so that I can finally say the shopping is finished, while wrapping the gifts that have already been purchased. As we're decorating the house, I'm also mentally revising the menu for Christmas dinner and reworking the grocery shopping list. There are lists everywhere. I'm famous for my list making, a trait I inherited from my Dad! It`s the usual pre-Christmas panic and it happens every year. But no matter how stressful it is, I still really enjoy it and love everything about Christmas, crowded shopping centres and all.
Things are just different this year.
Mazatlan is filled with Christmas. Christmas trees have been available since mid-November and many of our neighbours have had their houses decorated for weeks now. We have seen some houses that have life sized nativity scenes, as well as Santa and the Reindeer, and several Nutcrackers standing guard at the front door. All the bases are covered. There are wreaths, coloured lights and garlands everywhere. The school down the hill has been playing Christmas carols every day while the children are on the playgound for recess. People are wandering around wearing reindeer ears. I've even seen a car with ears.
It should feel like Christmas, but it doesn't.
This is our first Christmas away from home, and I think perhaps I just can't get my head around the fact that it's warm here, and sunny. Christmas is supposed to be cold, right? It feels strange not to be shopping (I bought gifts for family at home before we left in October). Our son won't be with us this year, for the first time. It's been a few years since he spent the whole day with us, but I've never had a year that I didn't see him at all. I know he'll be fine, he even said he was putting up a tree, but I'll miss him. I hope he goes somewhere for dinner, even though he said he's given up meat - he could always eat the veggies. I wish he could come here. We don't have a tree this year, another first. I did bring a box of decorations (31 Santas!) which I put out on the weekend. But I miss the tree, and the shopping, and wrapping paper, ribbons and bows ....
However, that is just enough whining. We are spending winter in Mexico, something we have dreamed about for years and we are having a wonderful time. We have so much to do we have actually found ourselves with 2 or more things scheduled for the same evening. We had company for dinner last night, and then spent the day lounging by the pool with friends, soaking up the sun. We are going to the baseball game tonight, something we`ve wanted to do for ages. I've started volunteering at the library. We`ve finished painting the casita and it looks great. (The Santas are a nice touch!)
I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. Just because this is different, it is still Christmas!
Tomorrow Mike and I are going shopping to buy a gift for a little boy from one of the local orphanages. He`d really like a sports watch, a remote controlled car or a transformer. Then we`ll come home and wrap it all fancy! We`re going to the Christmas Open House at the lovely little boutique hotel over the hill on Saturday and are attending 2 Christmas `concerts` next week. We plan on spending an evening at the Plaza Machado admiring the sights and sounds of a Mexican Christmas evening. We have been invited out for dinner on Christmas Day which I am truly looking forward to. They are a lovely couple, their home is beautiful, and we will be sharing the day with friends, old and new.
Maybe it is starting to feel a little bit like Christmas.