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The Busy Month Of December

By Angel Nuñez

Oh yes, the month of December is a busy month today, way too busy.  But don’t you ever think the month of December or the Christmas month was not busy twenty five years ago, except that in a different way.

While the activities of Christmas begin with the Christmas Lighted Boat Parade, in the past it all commenced on December 16 with the beginning of “Las Posadas”.  Las Posadas re-enacted the visit of Joseph and Mary, who was close to childbirth, at the homes in Bethlehem. They knocked at doors to see if there was any space for them because the inns were full. The Posadas went on for nine days from December 16 to 24 and this event drew tons of participants including women, young ladies and men and children.  Las Posadas included prayers, singing, cupcakes and soft drinks for everyone.  Trust me; it was a biggie. With a population of 500, it drew 200 participants.

Just about the same time as the Posadas, there was the exciting event of setting up the live Christmas tree (a limb from a pine tree) and decorating it with balloons, plastic toys and anything that could make it colorful.

The next event that took center stage in San Pedro twenty five years ago was the arrival of salted hams on the Island.  Every household purchased its ham, and hung it close to the main door for everyone to see.  It was a special event in San Pedro, but the ham was not boiled and baked until December 24 for the Christmas meal.

But that was not the end.  Then there was the arrival of apples, pears and grapes from the United States.  This usually occurred about December 20 for families to purchase their Christmas treat supplies.  Don’t laugh but I recall children going to the store to purchase the apples and pears which came in a fine sheet wrap. The children would be seen smelling the wrapper and enjoying it tremendously. They would not be able to eat an apple until December 25, guarantee or money back.

Then there was the preparation of the young people especially for the Christmas dance.  This included getting their dresses and trousers sewn, preparing the dance hall and getting their musicians together.  There was much anticipation and exhilaration for this big event.  The rest of the village prepared for the midnight mass, popularly known as “Misa de Gallo.”  This name was due to the roosters beginning to crow just at the time this mass was coming to an end.  And then the party continued.

The Christmas Season brought a much needed and long awaited break from the monotony of life in a sleeping village Twenty Five Years ago.

25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Chico’s Meat Shop -Pampered Paws -Ambergris Jade -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarious Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush -Richies Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery

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