Among my preferred childhood memories is investing the holiday in Mexico. Christmas in Mexico offered me insight into how my parents invested their vacations growing up.
For us, it seems as if it is our yearly family reunion because we get to reunite with all my aunties and uncles, cousins and household buddies. During this season, there are great deals of parties, and we get to enjoy standard Mexican food and drinks.
It appears as if it is our annual household reunion due to the fact that we get to reunite with all my aunts and uncles, cousins and household good friends.
Everybody starts getting ready for Christmas a few days prior to by buying ingredients to cook that week, covering all the presents and preparing yourself for the family’s present exchange or “Secret Santa.” Aside from home tasks, each town hosts a “Posada.” Posadas are a centerpiece that take place beginning nine days before Christmas. The Catholic faith plays a big function in the Mexican culture and hosting posadas is a way Mexicans celebrate Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
You will see a nativity scene in almost every house. Throughout each night of the posada, friends and family collect to sing carols with their next-door neighbors. Everybody in the town collects at the end to break a piñata, lose consciousness goodie bags (or bolos) and consume together. Each night of the Posada is a celebration, but the last night (Christmas Eve), is when they do a bigger celebration and normally host a party up until late at night and enjoy their homemade conventional food and drinks in addition to live music and dancing.
Throughout each night of the posada, friends and family collect to sing carols with their next-door neighbors.
For food, tamales are typically served for Christmas Eve. Tamales are made from a corn based dough, “masa,” and filled with different components such as shredded pork, chicken, cheese and poblano peppers. They are covered in corn husks and steamed for a couple of hours. Then, the corn husk is eliminated prior to eating.
Another dish typically served is “pozole.” This is a hominy stew which contains pork and broth made from the meat and a salsa base. The stew is simmered for a couple of hours, mixing the tastes from the meat, the hominy and either red or green peppers. This meal is then topped with radishes, cabbage, fresh lime juice and onions and consumed with crispy tortilla chips.
For drinks, Mexicans either delight in hot chocolate or a warm fruit punch or “ponche.” Ponche is generally made with water, and fresh and dried fruit such as guavas, apples, oranges hibiscus, sugar cane, cinnamon and sweetened with “piloncillo” or cane sugar. The citrus and cinnamon fragrances blended together with the rest of the fruits and spices make this beverage a should for a cozy night!
Christmas in Mexico will always be a remarkable time for me, delighting in tamales or pozole, a warm cup of ponche and sitting next to a bonfire surrounded by liked ones. I hope that wherever you spend Christmas this year, you too are keeping your household traditions alive no matter where you remain in the world.