by Ann Hook AMMM    U.S.A.    19.12.2021

christmas crib wooden resized 210322As I look back over the past fifty years, I see how the Christmas traditions I hold dear have changed.

I grew up outside New York City and a trip into “the city” to visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and see the store windows was an annual event. This was aligned with my mother’s favorite Christmas song, “Silver Bells.” There gifts to purchase and wrap, an Advent calendar culminating with giving of gifts and a wonderful Christmas dinner.  My Christmas traditions and experiences were largely Anglo-Saxon and urban.  Newly married, I moved to rural New Mexico in 1972 and was introduced to Hispanic and Native American cultures.  With these cultures came new Christmas traditions.  “Las Posadas”, a re-enactment of Mary’s and Joseph’s search for an inn, marks the nine days before Christmas.  During these days the kitchen is busy with pots of beans and red chile simmering, biscochitos baking, and tamales, pozole, and menudo being prepared for Christmas celebrations.  Luminarias illuminate the plaza and streets on Christmas Eve.  I cherish the memories of the traditions of my youth with their glitter and excitement and I love the simplicity, meaning, and joy of my present traditions.

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