Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad!

It's Navidad in el bosque/the jungle!!!

We woke up this morning to the birds chirping in palm trees, an iguana scratching on a roof, red hibiscus, and the water's not working again at the Cabinas this morning. Merry Christmas! :)

Flip flops, sunglasses, suncreen (SPF 50), and sun-warmed sand that's so hot you have to dance a mini-mariachi to survive the distance from wave to cabina--it's always fun to me that people here smile when talking about el invierno, or winter. There's no long sighs of resignation or inadvertant shivers thinking about what's to come. Here, cozy-close to the equator, during the full 12 hours of brilliant warm sunshine, they drape gold tinsel on faded, plastic bows of a fake evergreen. Polar bears and rotund Santas grace sweating bottles of Coca-Cola. Festive, faded holly swags adorn the doorframe of the Jaco Taco stand. Fireworks popping, booming, glittering in a warm Christmas Eve night.

Over a special Christmas Eve lunch of tropical pizza (pine apple, bacon, mushrooms, peppers and cheese), Nic and I were noticing that aside from the very occasional Christmas decoration and "Little Drummer Boy" in Spanish playing on the restaurant's radio -- there's really no blatant, commercial Christmas presence in Costa Rica--or at least in Jaco and Hermosa -- there are no hoards of frenzied shoppers, no stores open 'til midnight, no invitations to spend all you have on things you (and your loved ones) probably don't really need. (Then again maybe it's all saved for TV, which we've not been watching) But --you can't help get the feeling that the holiday is not what it is in the states. It's refreshingly simple.

A day together, to relax and enjoy.........and eat tamales!!!!! Navideno tamales -- I was reading in the "Tico Times" (a Costa Rican newspaper that comes in both ingles and espanol) that a holiday tradition is for families to get together and make tamales. Like hundreds of them. Like enough to last from Christmas through New Years. (It sounds like a delicious holiday tradition to me!)

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