No Pie for Me on Christmas

So, last night I called my extended family up on the phone to wish them a Merry Christmas. They were in the U.S. and had just eaten a turkey with the works (complaining a lot about how full they were!) They told me that after they digested the turkey a bit they were going to eat home-made pies.

I got to thinking about those pies. I thought, “I’ve done my Mexican bit. I’ve eaten romeritos and bacalau. I’ve survived without Christmas cookies, without fudge, without gingerbread, without pie…. pie… pie.” I was picturing home-made apple pie. The kind made with cinnamon and a dash of lemon juice.

I asked my husband to take me out to buy pie. I knew it wouldn’t be as good as home-made, but at least I could have some. First we stopped at a sweetbread bakery chain. I went in by myself, reading the “yes, we’ll be open on the 25th” sign on the door without comprehending that that was foreshadowing for the rest of my search for pie that night. I grabbed a tray and some tongs and began to cruise the almost empty shelves. I made it to the cake cooler and didn’t see any pies. I asked about pie but the lady working there told me that they don’t do pie, but do have cheese cake.

I can’t eat dairy products, so that was out. I considered the cakes, but they all looked loaded with milk and cream. I considered other options, looking at the overpriced, flavorless looking Christmas cookies in cute little cellophane baggies, but decided not to settle. I headed out the door and we drove off in search of more options.

Everything was closed. Entire grocery stores were closed: locked up and completely dark. A restaurant that also makes its own baked goods was closed. Some restaurants and taco stands were open, but none that sold breads or pies.

We thought that at least it meant that all those people who work in stores for so little money were at home with their families enjoying Christmas (though, surely not eating pie) and we felt happy for them. I’m still pie-less this Christmas because I just don’t feel like making it myself.

Let’s Go the Oaxaca’s Raddish Festival

Next year for Christmas I think I want to be in Oaxaca to see the radish festival. We were just watching the tourism section on the news and saw that in Oaxaca they have a festival for which people make figures out of radishes and they are something else!

Cow’s pulling carts and people with detailed clothing are two of the things I saw. You know how each radish has it’s own character? Apparently in Oaxaca they have some long skinny radishes that really have character.

Also on the same section they featured Los Cabos. We saw a shot of the tree at the delegacion and it appears to be back up and looking great.

Cuernavaca’s Christmas Tree Isn’t Sponsored by a Corporation

This year Cuernavaca is not sporting a Coca-cola Christmas tree in the zocalo. I’m so glad. Talk about commercializing Christmas. This year’s tree was sponsored by the government and has important key words on the balls, such as “employment,” “freedom,” “clarity” (as opposed to corruption), and “love.” I guess they didn’t want to be subtle about their sponsorship.

I will not complain about the wide horizontal stripes of blue lights and the strobe light stars on the tree in addition to the government propaganda keywords. My husband declared that he liked it. I will just say that when I used to have a Christmas tree in my house, it had a much more lacey look to it. The fence around the base of the tree is downright classy with “greenery” garlands, glowing with small, crystal-looking white lights, tastefully placed randomly among the branches of the greenery.

In addition to the tree, there are two nice nativity scenes on display. One classy traditional one in the doorway of the government palace and one large one near the tree. No baby Jesus yet. It’s too Catholic in this town for him to appear until he is supposed to.

I was hoping there might be Christmas music, but not tonight (the night before Christmas Eve). Maybe tomorrow.

Other Christmas tree news:

While in Cabo San Lucas we enjoyed the park near the delegacion with its huge tree, decorated in a more traditional style than the one in Cuernavaca, stage freshly painted with night sky blue and stars, and gazebo also freshly painted and tastefully decorated with lights and garlands. We were lucky to catch the lighting ceremony, by pure chance and heard school children and professional artists performing on the stage on more than one night. Our friends tell us that during the sudden and unusual rain storm that we had on the night of the 9th (I think) the tree was knocked down! Large amounts of money and effort are being invested in getting the tree back up for Christmas.