¡Feliz Navidad!

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Merry belated Christmas to all! We hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. A few days before Christmas, Jeff and I went to the Zócalo, the center of D.F., and snapped some shots of the decorations to share.

Christmas tree in the Zócalo. (No, it's not real, it is made of green tinsel and Pepsi symbol ornaments. Guess we know who sponsored it!)

This center part of the Zócalo usually houses various protests that are happening but this time, it was set up as sort of a Christmas carnival. Just right of center, you can note a blue tent labeled "Real Snow," and indeed, they manufactored real snow so that one could go in and have a snowball fight with friends. After seven years of awful winters in Ohio and Kansas, I found this to be the height of irony.

And of course, no Christmas carnival could be complete without an ice skating rink! I find it a miracle that this even worked given how warm it was outside but they obviously had some high-powered machinery working hard under the ice to keep it frozen. Apparently a few years ago, the mayor of the city came up with the really great idea of putting the ice skating rink in the Zócalo for everyone to enjoy for free during the holidays. We didn’t skate since there was a huge line of people waiting, but it was really fun to see how excited everyone was about this. After all, it never snows here and they barely ever get more than a light frost on the ground on even the coldest days. What do they call this by the way? Why, Rockefeller Center, of course. (No joke, they really do!)

As well as this was able to work, when we took this picture, the workers were definitely cleaning up puddles of water that were forming on the ice. It was close to 80 degrees this day!

My parents arrived to spend the holidays with us on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and we had a really great visit. After they got in, we were able to hang out at home for awhile before heading to the Catedral Metropolitana (also in the Zócalo) to see a Christmas Eve mass.

Catedral Metropolitana, from the late sixteenth century

The mass was supposed to be at 8:00 but we got there a little after 7:00 just to make sure we could get seats. There was actually a shorter service at 7:00, so we stayed for all of that one and part of the 8:00 one, but decided not to stay for the whole thing because it was going to be really long. One of the Cardinals was presiding over the 8:00 mass, so there were a lot of people in attendance. We did get to hear some music before we left though, which was very interesting. The reverb in the church was ridiculous because it is massive and the space where the organ and musicians were was behind us, which created a kind of strange acoustic. And the organ was definitely NOT equal-tempered, so there were some crunchy chords with the brass players but all in all, it was lovely and very different to hear.

Christmas morning, we got up and made coffee and then opened presents.

Christmas morning

Clearly even Schubert was in the Christmas spirit

My Christmas present from Jeff--an awesome new camera that is PURPLE of all things! (Note: all pictures after this one are taken with the new camera. I hope that the quality improves our blog readers' reading experience 🙂

I can’t remember if we have mentioned in our blog our interesting experience with water here in the city but on occasion, we lose water all together. The city is huge and it appears that one of the problems that really haven’t been dealt with completely yet is the water. Because we are in the north of the city, I think sometimes it doesn’t quite get pumped our way. When we first got here, we seemed to lose it for a day or two at a time once every three or four weeks. Of course, we had not lost water at all for six or seven weeks until my parents got here, and then we lost it late Christmas Eve, haha. It really wasn’t so bad on Christmas Day because it did come on again here and there throughout the day, but cooking Christmas dinner without regular running water was an adventure.

Jeff carving the turkey

Green bean casserole with "imported" french fried onions, since we can't find them here in Mexico

These lovely plastic plates were a far cry from my mom's china that usually comes out on Christmas, but hey, we didn't have to wash dishes!

Despite the lack of water, we still had a great day and fun spending time together. More on my parents’ visit to come soon!

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