Friday morning I noticed a sign posted on a pole in the neighborhood announcing a Posada for the neighbors Saturday evening. We had been invited to our neighbor’s home for coffee and cake, and to meet their parents who are visiting from Guadalajara at the same time, but this event was more important. Together with Isabelle and her young son, Miguel, (her husband had lost his parents in the Cancun Mall and was late arriving) we walked to where we could hear music begin to blast. There were stacks of white plastic chairs and people arriving.
First drinks were served by three lovely teenage girls: sodas, a warm fruit punch, and a bottle of tequila for the men. Eventually the Procession began. Two young children dressed as Mary and Joseph led the large group of neighbors. We walked first to our next door neighbor’s home and sang a request for entrance, but were denied. We turned and, singing Christmas songs, followed the children down the street. Two houses later the children were admitted to much rejoicing.
We returned to our circle of plastic chairs, ate hamburgers cooked on an open grill, and two fathers tied the first piñata to the rope and pulley stretched across the intersection. Starting with the smallest child, each was given a turn at beating the piñata, hoping to break open the store of candies within. The first was beaten ragged but still would yield no candies, so it was cut open and the sweets were tossed to the ground. Then another, smaller, piñata arrived and was successfully beaten open. And finally a huge piñata was hoisted above the crowd. Older children took a serious whack at this monster and finally adults were blind-folded and let loose on it. Our neighbors, Miguel and Isabelle, were the final heros who broke it open.
Then a plastic cup full of tiny papers was brought out and each person drew “his gift” and read the paper aloud into a microphone. Jim’s was the gift of feet to follow the path of truth, and mine was the gift of the mule in the stable to warm my fervor. A teenage girl drew the gift of protecting the baby Jesus until next year and took the figure from the nativity scene. Every adult, child, and grandparent drew “a gift”. It was quite wonderful. The dancing began shortly and Jim entered right in. His first song was “Macho Man” and the ladies all circled around him. Line dances, which have always baffled me, started and I took my place on the sidelines. But a very good time was had by all.