Once again, I have a friend that lives in the country we learned about today… Mexico! Sara sent me lots of great information. thank you so much Sara!!
Here’s the Christmas traditions I told the kids (I told them in my own words… this is the info that Sara sent me)
Posadas are an important part of Mexican Christmas celebrations. The word posada means “inn” or “shelter” in Spanish, and these celebrations recreate Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay in Bethlehem . Posadas are held on each of the nine nights leading up to Christmas, from December 16 to 24th.
Posadas are held in neighborhoods across Mexico and are also becoming popular in the United States . The celebration consists of a procession with candles, sometimes with individuals selected to play the parts of Mary and Joseph, or sometimes images are carried. The procession will make its way to a particular home (a different one each night), where a special song is sung. In this song those outside the house sing the part of Joseph asking for shelter and the family inside responds singing the part of the innkeeper saying that there is no room. The song switches back and forth a few times until finally the innkeeper decides to let them in. The door is opened and everyone goes inside.
Inside the house there is a celebration which can vary from a very big fancy party to a small get-together among friends. Often the festivities begin with a short Bible reading and prayer. Then the hosts give the guests food, usually tamales and a hot drink – like ponche or atole. Then there are piñatas and the children are given candy.
The nine nights of posadas leading up to Christmas are said to represent the nine months that Jesus spent in Mary’s womb, or alternatively, to represent nine days journey to Bethlehem.
these the words to the song that they sing (click to enlarge)
This is a very sweet story I told:
The red Christmas poinsettia comes in a variety of colors, this beautiful Mexican plant is a symbol of Christmas. Mexican folklore lovers have passed down a story of the poinsettia dating back several centuries. It’s known both as the Legend of the Poinsettia and the Legend of Pepita and Pedro.
The legend suggests the plant did not always have the beautiful petals associated with it today. It was a just a common weed. The story features a poor Mexican girl named Pepita who had no gift for the Christ child at the local Christmas Eve church service.
The custom of the time in many villages was to bring gifts to the baby Jesus as part of the Christmas celebration. One year, Pepita was very sad. Although she and her family were getting ready to attend the festivities, she realized she had no suitable gift.
As she walked with her cousin Pedro to the church, she confessed to him how ashamed she felt not to have a present. Pedro responded, “I am sure, Pepita, that even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.”
Pepita then knelt by the road and gathered a handful of everyday weeds, which she made into a small bouquet. When she saw how scraggly the plants looked, she felt even sadder and more embarrassed by how humble her offering was. She also underwent teasing from the other children as they arrived with their presents.
Pepita remained silent because she knew her bouquet was all she could give. As she entered the village chapel she tried not to cry.
When the little girl approached the altar, she remembered what Pedro had told her, “Even the most humble gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.”
Her spirits lifted as she knelt to place her bouquet at the foot of the nativity display. Instantaneously, the gift of weeds burst into brilliant red blooms. Onlookers were convinced that what they had just seen with their own eyes was indeed a Christmas miracle.
Locals named the red plants Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night. They continued to bloom each year during the Christmas season.
For lunch I made a crockpot of beans to go with some tortillas, cheese, and Mexican soda.
for the craft, the kids made God’s eyes (instructions HERE)
I made Bizcochitos for dessert
here’s the recipe… click to enlarge (2 pages)