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Old Timers and Christmas Traditions #2

By Angel Nuñez

You know that you are an old timer even when it comes to the way you partook in the Christmas celebrations and traditions.

Old timers, to begin with, did not have to worry whether they would go dance at Jaguar’s Temple Night Club, Daddy Rock, Fido’s, Holiday Hotel, or any of the resorts that sponsor Christmas parties.  They simply headed straight to Daddy’s Club where the Christmas dance was celebrated. Daddy’s was right on the beach where Daddy Rock is today but it was an open hall where the entire village could congregate and enjoy watching the couples dancing.

Old timers got ready to go to the dance at eight o’clock because the dance commenced at nine on the dot.  This was so because the dance on the 24th of December was interrupted at midnight for everyone to go to the “misa de gallo” or the midnight mass.  Present day Sanpedranos would argue that they would rather stay and dance during that hour but they would have to dance man with man because the ‘señoritas’ (young ladies) were all taken to church by their moms and there was no question whether they wanted to go or not.  It was the tradition.

Old timer Sanpedranos danced to the soft and melodious music provided by non-electric musical instruments. I am talking about acoustic guitars, accordion, harmonica, tom toms, drums, and maracas.  Of course the music was only very audible and appreciated inside the dance hall at Daddy’s Club. Couples could converse while they danced making it absolutely romantic.  Do you think you can do that today with the blast of “so called music” of DJ’s and rappers?

Old Timers and Christmas Traditions #2

You are beginning to like this, right?  But there is more since the old timer gentleman of San Pedro had the distinct pleasure of dancing with a girl in his arms. Yes, he embraced her all night long if he wished as long as she was willing to dance with him. What kind of music allowed the men to embrace the girls while dancing?  We are talking about romantic ‘boleros’ or Spanish ballads, bachata, waltz, danzon, and similar musical pieces. Ironically today when a slow and romantic ‘bolero’ is played, I see couples walking out of the dance hall. Could it be that the boys do not like embracing the beautiful young girls?

Now I want to show you some big differences between the old timers and the modern Sanpedranos on this same topic of partying.  Do you think you would have found two or three girls dancing back then?  Not at all…just not the custom.  Do you think old timers would have waited until 11p.m. or midnight to go to the dance as youngsters do today?  If they did, they would have reached there just when the party was almost over.

And finally I must tell you that old timers had to be very respectful when they danced with the young ladies.  There was nothing like sandwiching a girl between two boys.  Boys could never dance behind a girl and mimic all kind of sexual movements.  A boy could not be on a high and stumble or trip about the place while dancing with a girl. No no no Sir; the mother who was the chaperon would quickly pull out her daughter out of the dance hall. Of course, the organizer of the dance would also have the young drunk put out of the dance hall, and he might have well go home because there was no other girl who was going to dance with him.  

You see, there are marked differences between old timers celebrating a Christmas dance and the modern day Sanpedranos.

Old Timers and Christmas Traditions #2

25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Pampered Paws -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarius Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush –Richie’s Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery -Rum, Coffee & Cigar House
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Other Christmas Articles You might enjoy:

Old Timers and Christmas

The Natural Christmas Trees

Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? #12

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