Two days ago, my husband surprised me with an early Christmas gift: a trip for our family to Mexico City to see my beloved Tia (aunt) for the holidays. Mexico is especially festive at this time of year.
We arrived yesterday, unannounced and were welcomed with tears of joy and excitement. My cousins then arranged a spur of the moment "Posadas" celebration. We all held candles and sang songs asking for shelter for the holy family as we walked single file in the courtyard, carrying statues of the expectant parents Mary and Joseph being led by an angel. Out of nowhere appeared a clay pinata with seven "cuernos", or horns, each representing one of the seven deadly sins. One at a time, the participants were blindfolded (to symbolize the virtue of blind faith) and took turns swinging a bat at the clay pinata as it flew up and down on a rope, suspended across the courtyard.
A few well placed hits and the clay pinata broke open, scattering its contents (representing heavenly rewards to those with faith) all over the ground: "cacahuates" (peanuts), persimmons, oranges and raw sugar cane. We all scrambled to gather the treasures with our hands. I spotted a large pile of "nueces" (nuts) and reached for them but my cousins screamed "no!" just in time to stop me from picking up some dried dog droppings. We all broke up in laughter and went inside to toast the holiday with a liquer made from quince, a regional specialty from the state of Chihuahua (and very tasty, I might add)!
Nobody in my family -except for my aunt- is a practicing Catholic. But we are all interested in preserving and passing down the symbols of our heritage and the meaning of those symbols to each new generation.
Here's our last holiday song for you, dear readers. It's my version of Jose Feliciano's Christmas classic, Feliz Navidad, recorded with Goddess 13. Thank you all for your comments and feedback throughout the past six months. It's been a great year for me and having you all by my side has made it even better. Look for changes and additions to the www.alicebag.com website next month. We'll add more rare L.A. punk stuff and more interviews with women who made the L.A. punk scene happen back in the late seventies.
I'd like to wish each of you the very best for the coming year. And remember...don't pick up any unusual looking "nuts"... I hope that doesn't cut into your dating options for New Years eve!