posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Holiday greetings! By the time you read this I will be heading home from another fun cruise to Mexico where I soaked up lots of bright warm sunshine, and with any luck, finally kicked aside the last of this annoying 'bug' that hit me on Friday the 13th and lingered waaay too long.
It's true that Aunty is a nasty ole grinchy woman, and I like to spend my holidays AWAY from home. I like to be far away from the hustle, bustle, and crass commercialism that seems to over-run every place around here. I admit, I may have gone a wee bit overboard last year by traveling all the way to Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country. But, hey, I didn't hear a single Christmas carol and saw only one Christmas tree (an odd little black plastic thing in a shopping mall in Konya) in the two weeks I was gone.
Christmas in western Mexico is much nicer, and not just because of the lovely warm weather. There are plenty of decorations, carols, and trees, but they seem simpler and far more sincere than the garish displays up north in California.
The big Christmas tree in the main plaza of old town Mazatlan is decorated with red velvet bows and long garlands of paper flowers. Unlike Nor Cal, December is dry, so no worries about rain spoiling the fabric or paper decorations, which are what most people put up on their eaves and around their windows (sorry I don't have pictures but will post some taken by others).
Lights are usually single strands with multi-colored bulbs, just like we used a couple of decades ago before everyone went crazy with all these hanging multi-strands and plastic inflatables. Acapulco has a population of over two million, and I think everyone of them has at least one strand of holiday lights. Since the ship did not leave port until 11 PM, I stood on the top deck and admired the thousands of beautiful lights shining all the way up on the hillsides surrounding the harbor. Spectacular!
Thanks to the warm climate, flowers are also in abundance this time of year and are used extensively for decorations. I don't think I've ever seen more blooming poinsettias than the profusion hanging and filling every available space in the public market in Manzanillo. All those natural red and green colors were gorgeous!
Of course, all that bucolic splendor flies right out the window as soon as I get back on the ship. Talk about Christmas excess! There are decorated trees in every public venue. Wreaths, garland, and tinsel threaten to strangle me at every turn. Christmas music blasts from the PA system. (Aunty sighs heavily) I guess if I must endure the holiday madness, there are far worse places than a cruise ship!
And the Lair is lots of fun too! But please tell Aunty, what place would you like to sail away for the holidays: a) Mexico b) the Carribean c) Europe d) someplace else (WHERE?)
Since we are still celebrating the 12 Bandita Days of Christmas, one lucky commenter will win a prize!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALL!