Jan 9, 2006, 3:46 PM
Post #1 of 5
Friday, January 6, was a most interesting day. Early in the afternoon, we went to the Casa del Lago, where Walt Smith, of Casa Flores B&B, Tommy Thompson, of Barbara's Bazaar, and Stewart McCowen, dressed as the Three Kings delivered goodies to the residents - old people. Their costumes were truly wonderful and they looked very kingly. Even Tommy was smiling from ear to ear.
After that, in the early evening, we went to the Ajijic Plaza and watched the same three, Balthazar, Gaspar, and Melchior delivering gold, frankincense, and myhrr - or at least a lot of candy and play balls to the children of Ajijic. They arrived at the plaza after wending their way through the streets of the village passing out even more candy.
As most of you know, Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) is as important for kids as Christmas Day - if getting presents is important to kids. It is the time when many get their (sorry if this term offends - its not Christmas) holiday gifts.
"It is also important religiously as it represents a fundamental connection between Christ's revellation to the Magi and the awakening of Mexico's indigenous population to the Christian faith." I'm not sure where this quote came from, but I got it off the internet and it sounds as if it is a good reason to make the day so important in Mexico.
It was truly beautiful to watch the kids playing in the plaza, breaking pinatas, just running around being kids, interacting with their parents and with others, and scrambling for the candy from the kings. It is a scene that would be very unlikely NoB, where parents hold most get togethers in private, where people are afraid to let their kids run free, and where the simple joy of scrambling for candy and breaking pinatas is not sophisticated enough for most kids. Lots of non Mexicans (see, I can describe us without using the feared G word) were right in the middle of the activities, talking with the kids, with the adults, scrambling for candy - which they gave to kids who were too little to get their own - and just generally having a great time. However, everytime that I tried to give a little kid candy, his/her mother or father had already accumulated a good supply. No kids were shortchanged. Everyone took care of those who couldn't take care of themselves.
While the kids, their families, and the observers had a lot of fun and the three kings were being very public spirited and contributing a lot to the village, one of the best parts of the day was watching Walt, Tommy, and Stewart obviously having just a great time.
It was also heart warming to watch the old people at Casa del Lago receiving their gifts. Some had no idea what was going on. Some obviously were reminded of Dia de los Reyes long gone by - a truly nostalgic time for people in their last years. Some were just happy to get the simple gifts and the attention from the kings and the others who came to join them for the day of celebration. All who could participate were really happy to get the Rosca de Reyes (Day of kings bread). Though, I found it sort of sad when one would get the baby Jesus in the bread. None are in a position to give the party on February 2 that finding the baby is supposed to entail.
The Casa has a lot of different people living there for a lot of different reasons. Several of the NoB people live there because they have no family to care for them. Others have families who care very much for them and find that the care and love at the Casa is the best thing that they can do for their loved one. Most of the Mexicans, on the other hand, are there because they somehow have no family. The concept of a retirement home is not well accepted in Mexico yet. As we have discussed previously. The family generally takes care of the old.
That works well when there is a large extended family. However, the Casa is a much better option if the family is small and/or all have to work to survive. If there is no one able to give full time care, the Casa, under the outstanding directorship of Marlene Dunham, is there to provide wonderful service, love, and care.