The People's Guide To Mexico

Tina's Mexico

The Baby Jesus

December 26. 1999

Christmas holds no sentimental attachments for me anymore. It was Churpa's childhood that called for the traveling miniature Christmas tree, (to be planted later, somewhere in Mexico) the ritual reading of "The Night Before Christmas" (accompanied by Steve's barfing sound at the line "I threw up the shade!"), and mysterious packages. Now I feel liberated from those traditions.

But Christmas Eve found both Carl & Lorena with their noses in their computers. Having heard rumors of an event up at the church, I took an early evening walk downtown. A quick circulacion of the courtyard, and I raced (as much as cobblestones will allow) back to the 'casa' and literally dragged the two of them out of their respective offices.

"You've got to see this," I urged!

Grumbling like old bears, they agreed to accompany me.

"This better be good," warned Carl.

"Trust me," I murmured.

The short walk brought us back to the church courtyard, "allegre" with the mixed sounds of recorded choir music overlapped by a young virtuoso thumping out popular Christmas tunes on an electric piano. Around the spacious rock paved courtyard were living creches, the nativity enacted by children, youths and adults. Many had dolls lying in the cradle, but most of the Baby Jesus roles were played by living babies in various states of harmony or discontent. Some slept angelically, fit for worship in their to-the-max beribboned and lacy Mexican baby outfits. Others wailed crankily under the bright lights and had to be hushed and comforted.

Each grouping represented a barrio or village, named in the announcements taped to the wall. each with its own theme, like "Nacimiento en 2000 nel Vaticano" (all in white and gold) or "Nacimiento Azteca"(very colorful, lots of plumes and feathers.) My favorite was a staging of the birth of Jesus in Brazil, youngsters sporting headgear with brilliant colored blowzy paper flowers, a boy seated on the ground cradling a large calm white rabbit in his lap.

But the scene that had led me to drag my friends from their dens was in a far corner. The sign read "Nacimiento 2000 en Conquista de Mare." (Nativity 2000 in the Conquest of Mars.) Here, a young Michael Jackson look-alike, curly hair standing in spikes, stood dressed in black leather and tinfoil, leaning against a wall covered in black plastic garbage bags and decorated with glittering silver stars. His youthfully pudgy Mary wore black leather jacket and leather mini-skirt, standing guard over a wooden doll. Red lights flared on and off, lending a macabre air to the scene.

By now, of course, Carl was madly wielding his digital camera, excitedly crouching on the verge, nearly teetering into the scene, as he sought the exact angle that would do justice to this amazing and totally Mexican act of imagination. In the background a Baby Jesus howled vociferously.

"See?" I said smugly, as we drifted back home to defrost some tamales for a traditional Christmas late night supper.

....continued with Millennium Buddha

Tina's Mexico:
On the Road Again

#1: Preparing to Leave for Mexico

#2: On The Road Again

#3: Dia de Guadalupe

#4: Gamboling for Cookies

#5: The Geography of Ghosts

#6: The
Baby Jesus

#7: Laughing Buddha

#8: Degrees of Acceptance

#9: Keys for the Road

#10: Not Pie in the Sky

11: Raison d'être

#12: Butterflies & Turtles

#13: Yes, Howard, We did eat Steve

#14: "56"

#15: Dia de Amistad

#16: Rio Purificacion

#17: Popcorn

#18: Ode To Odette

#19: Departure

#20 Pueblita's Flowers

#21: Rearview-Mirror

#22: Lingering


#24 1st Anniversay of Steve's Death

#25 The Mexican Left Turn Angelic Blues

Tina's Stories

Day of the Dead Altar
Ritual for October
All Us Desert Rats
© by Tina Rosa, 1999-2002
Tina Rosa's homepage
Tina's Mexico
Tina's Biography
Icons & Graven Images

Email Tina Rosa at tinar@mexconnect.com

Steve Rogers Memorial

Churpa Rosa Roger
School Days in Mexico