Christmas lights on the mountaintop

HERE WE ARE, the last day of 2017, which was a very good year for me, and I hope for you too. Let us pray that 2018 will be equally good or better.

I’ll be elated tomorrow. January First is always my favorite day of the year because it’s as distant as you can get from the next holiday season. There’s just too much hubbub here, too much traffic, too many people.

I shot this brief video — my videos are always brief — Friday evening. We’re all dolled up downtown. What you cannot see is the humongous Nativity Scene spread all over the plaza, which is over to the right. It’s so overboard that tourists come from far and wide, which was the objective, of course. Bring cash.

A few short years ago we elected a new mayor, one of many since I moved here over 17 years back. The mayors came. The mayors went. And you never noticed a lick of difference … until the last election when we elected a fellow named Baéz.

The huge Nativity Scene is, one must assume, due to Baéz. So is the massive street renovation currently under way around the plaza. Other streets downtown have been, or are in the process of being, renovated too. Lord knows they needed it.

Those Christmas lights on the buildings around the plaza are new too.

The scuttlebutt is that Baéz has wider political aspirations, state or national. That’s fine by me. In spite of his being the candidate of the leftist PRD, I voted for him due to the advice of a local sage (R.I.P.) whose knowledge I trusted.

Tomorrow I awake with a smile on my face. January First. Most of the tourists will be leaving, but we still have another week till Three Kings Day. Things won’t completely return to normal till after that. God give me patience.

Adiós, December

centro

I READ RECENTLY that more people have heart attacks on Christmas Day than on any other day.

The holiday season is not welcomed by many folks. It throws them into a fit of depression. While it does not depress me, the entire month of December is my least favorite.

Christmas doesn’t interest me because I quit believing in Santa when I was 7 years old, and I’m not a Christian, so the religious aspect means nothing. I don’t think it means much to many people, but that’s another issue.

I’m gracious when people wish me Merry Christmas, but my heart’s not in it. Before I moved to Mexico, my favorite day of the year was January First because it’s as distant from the next Christmas season as you can get.

Alas, in Mexico the hysteria continues till January 6, which is Three Kings Day, and that’s when little Mexican kids get their presents, not on Christmas.

My attitude toward Christmas was always a source of much conflict with my second ex-wife who is as pro-Christmas as I am anti. December was painful in our home.

Today is January 1, 2017, a fresh year. I dropped my child bride off last night downtown so she could party almost to the crack of dawn with a mob of her unruly Mexican kin, something she did just a week ago for Christmas.

She’ll come home tomorrow nearly catatonic from lack of sleep while I’ll be fresh as the proverbial daisy.

A few hours prior to dropping her off, I was walking alone down the hill there in the photo. It’s one of our town’s best perspectives. A New Year’s gift to you.

Many thanks to those who give me feedback now and then. I appreciate it. May 2017 treat you well.

For those who stay mum, may 2017 treat you well too.

Flaming New Year’s

burn
Fire started at the top.
remains
A burned-out skeleton.

FOR WEEKS, it had been a spectacular sight on our town’s plaza. A Christmas tree about three stories tall.

Not a tree actually, an artwork, lamentably flammable.

Thursday afternoon, on the cusp of New Year’s Eve, a fire erupted at the top and worked its way down. Apparently, a kid lit a pyrotechnical device nearby, and it landed on the tree.

The flames consumed about two-thirds of the elegant structure before a fire truck arrived and extinguished it.

And so ended 2015.

Below is a “Before” shot I found on Facebook.

(UPDATE: It will be rebuilt. Since Christmas is not the big day for children in Mexico — Three Kings Day is — and that doesn’t arrive till next week, it will be repaired for the kiddies, according to the mayor.)

before