This will be my first Christmas in Mexico City in my new home. Even though I am still in the process of settling in and organizing the apartment the way I want it, I am decorating the place for the holidays.
I began with the front door.
While Alejandro and I were at Sears during the "Buen Fin" shopping weekend, we found a Christmas doormat that wasn't made in China. At a nearby market, I found some garland to drape around the door. While I was walking around with Alejandro in his neighborhood, we found a shop selling Christmas figures (made of acrylic, I believe), and I bought a soldier. The figures are made right there. The storekeeper told me that he had just painted the one I bought that very day.
Next, I started unpacking the box full of Nativity scene figures that I had shipped from Ohio. I purchased this set nearly forty years ago at Sanborns House of Tiles in downtown Mexico City.
Next, I put up the tree that Alejandro gave me last year. It's narrow and folds up flat to fit in a box... perfect for the limited space of an apartment. It came with light and decorations, although after I put it up, it looked rather bare. I thought, "I need to go out and buy some more small decorations."
I still had the biggest decorating task to do. In Mexico, many people put up an incredibly elaborate Nativity scene with landscaping that includes mountains and rivers and waterfalls. The town of Bethlehem is there with all the residents (who all look like Mexican villagers) and all the farm animals. Some scenes are so large that they take up most of a room.
The traditional clay figures, which are made in the state of Jalisco, are a bit primitive in appearance. Over the years I have collected dozens of them, and this year I purchased even more at the markets. The (Mexicanized) Bethlehem extravaganza was going to be set up on the living room floor around the tree.