Sunday, December 21, 2008

And So This Is Christmas

Today is December 21st. Christmas is happening all around me, and I woke up a little sad because I have not put much energy into the holidays. I used to enjoy making cards, writing letters, making ornaments, putting up the tree and getting together with friends and family. Jim and I had a couple of rough Christmases, but as my girlfriend reminded me, other than those two years the holidays were always fun. I feel guilty that I don't make the effort to get together with my family, especially since my brother invites me every year.

But I am still getting accustomed to a new life in México. I have a family in Pablo and the cat commando. The thought of traveling to the US intimidates me. Having spent the past year trying to get accustomed to the culture here, I cannot just culture hop, not yet. I have trouble switching my brain from Spanish to English in a bilingual situation. I see it in my writing, my thoughts are more formal and my sentences structured oddly. I am also still a little lost since my life changed and try to avoid those family situations where they sit you down and ask, "So what ARE you doing?"

You are looking at my Christmas decorations. Pablo gave me a pipe cleaner tree. The cats tore it up, but I reconstructed it and put it on some pine needles I had left over from Guadalupe day flowers. This is the Christmas altar. We put up a tree and my Mom's nativity scene last year, and then decided to drive around southern Mexico and Guatemala for two weeks.

So this year I decided a token altar, with a Mayan god, St. Francis of Assissi and the pipe cleaner tree with a little scent of pine would be just perfect. Another consideration was the five kittens, and a big tree full of tempting hanging items is just a disaster waiting to happen. Jude is visiting and we are heading to Akumal for Christmas, back to our roots in México, where we met over 20 years ago.

Feliz Navidad. Merry Christmas. Mele Kelikimaka. Happy Holidays. Be safe. Appreciate one another.


Lena said...

Yes, a tree is tempting to a cat. I lit Hanukkah candles tonight and our cat attempting to jump up on the table to explore them; I was worried he was going to knock them over and set the place on fire.

Linda Dorton said...

I used to have a remedy for the cats attacking the tree and ornaments. I wrapped a few dried miniature shrimp (popular Hawaiian treat...salty shrimp)in white tissue paper and hid one or two presents a day while the tree was up. They concentrated on finding that smell and ripped the packets open, enjoying a few shrimpies, thus leaving the tree and ornaments alone.