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Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Best Ever Christmas Display: Our International Holdiays

In a previous post I mentioned my conflict about Christmas as an adult.  This got me to remembering some of my childhood Christmas experiences and one of the best ever Christmas displays.   This is going to be a long post, but ...hey....I'm blogging for me! Not you.

I'm indulging myself.

Let me preface by saying we spent many of our Christmas holidays in Mexico.  My grandmother and my Dad's younger siblings lived there from the mid 1940's to the late 1960's.  30 years as legal residents of Mexico and they had two places to live.  One was a very modern apartment in Mexico City and the other a wonderful rustic old villa in Tequisquiapan.

Aunt Rae in the courtyard Tequis....after college

One side of the courtyard
My aunts and uncles were going to the College of Americas or high school in Mexico and since it was Christmas break, our family usually spent several months traveling to Mexico and just visiting.  From the late 50's until the family moved back to the States our Christmas was international. 

1960 Family in Acapulco.

Acapulco was a favorite spot.   At that time it was a resort town for the Mexican elite society and especially the favorite of the college students.  As kids, my brother and I loved it.  Warm sands, surf and we were able to be pretty much on our own, running up and down the beach and body surfing.  There were no 'helicopter' parents in those days. 

Some photos from that time. My brother being a butt and refusing to smile because he didn't want to have a photo taken. Ahhhhh. family

Aunt Rae being very "glam" on the beach in front of our hotel.  That's my grandmother in the back.  Uncle Owen, being a studly high school senior.
(AAARGH I give up...blogger will not let me position the photos on the page how I want or let me resize them!!. )
Rae.... College age

Uncle Owen...high school

But,  all this digression leads me to to the most awesome Christmas display ever. Even though we were not immersed in Santa and Rudolph, I believe we got a better understanding of what Christmas is all about.  The Christ Child.  Baby Jesus.     (description of the display after the jump)

In the lobby of the hotel we were staying, they had a large diorama (I think that is the term) or display.  It was a low platform about 5 feet square, with dirt mounding to a hill in the middle of the space.  On top of the hill was the stable.  There were little trees and bushes. Rocks and paths wandering through the landsape.  Tiny sheep, cattle, horses, chickens, pigs scattered about.  Small people doing activities.  In the stable were Mary and Joseph and way off in one corner on the path were the Three Wisemen. There was a beautiful crystal star hanging over the stable.  It was very detailed and very cool.   It was also fenced off to keep us kiddies from messing with the diorama or playing with the figurines.

Every day we would get up and look at the progress of the scene because at night, the staff would come and rearrange the scene.  Each day, the Wisemen would be just a bit closer up the path.  The animals and people would also be moving up the hill.  Mary and Joseph would move around in  the stable, too.  It was fun to see it and notice the changes from yesterday. 

On Christmas Eve....all the pieces were so very close to the top of the hill.  The excitment would be building each day because we knew how this story would end.  FINALLY, on Christmas morning.....there was Baby Jesus in the manger!!!  TA DAH!!  All the Wisemen were in the stable and their gifts were placed before the manger.  The animals were peering into the stable windows and the figures of the people were doing the same and some kneeling reverent figurines had been place close on the path and around the building.

Christmas was here!.  Then we opened our presents.  Went to church and later a brunch back at the hotel, because we had fasted for communion. to the beach to swim and surf.  

The traditional Christmas swiming and surfing and Margaritias for the adults.

My Christmas memories.


  1. Enjoyed your memories DBQ, and what a neat diarama the hotel put together. Merry Christmas

  2. Windows Live Writer is good for positioning photos on my blog.

    I would love to spend a Christmas Holiday on a sandy beach with warm breezes and tropical aromas wafting on it. You were very blessed.

  3. Thank you for your kind comments gail and pamela.

    We were blessed to have such adventurous parents who the ability to take us on these travels. I have such fabulous memories and experiences.

    Looks like Pamela and I have something in common.

    INDEED!....the dust CAN wait.

  4. What a fabulous beautiful nativity! Thank you for sharing that. What a great memory.

  5. Sorry I am late to the party but Merry Christmas and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

  6. Enjoyed the post and endorse the comment on Windows Live Writer, though it generally takes two or three posts to get used to it.