The rainy season ended quite suddenly. Just before Thanksgiving, it poured rain – I mean poured rain everyday. Most of the day. Into the night. All the bloggers were whining about how sick of rain we all were getting. I didn’t whine, they all did. I just mentioned the fact that we were all completely soaked and damn tired of it.

Then, Thanksgiving Day, it stopped. Just like that. We’ve had a couple of sprinkles since then, but really nothing at all. You couldn’t even get your hair wet in the rain we’ve had since. And my yard, which used to be a mud pit, is already dry as a bone. The ground is so hard, you can’t get a shovel in it! I went out to plant a vine the other day and could not get my shovel to break the ground.

I’m not whining here. I’m sharing. Sharing about how all the new plants I planted in November are probably going to die now because there’s no frickin’ rain…

The other thing is, the minute the rain stopped, the fireworks started. Amazing: every night, as soon as it’s dark, which is 6pm, the cannons start going off. They do little firecrackers here, too. And bottlerockets – BOOM, just heard one. But there is some fireworks gizmo that every household has that sounds like a cannon. Big BOOM!s all around.

The reason for all this revelry? Why, the birth of Christ. Funny, I got one of those joke emails the other day about a secretary emailing fellow employees about the office Christmas party. She keeps having to send updates to the invite, making allowances for the Jewish employees, then the alcoholics, then the Muslims, then fat people, lesbians, pregnant women, cross-dressers, evangelicals fearing Satan was coming, not Santa…

There is NONE of that confusion here: Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in a manger surrounded by oxen on December 25th period. This country is Catholic and serious about la fe. It is lovely and simple, no discussion. No need. My maid, Angela (not her real name and who I adore even though I’m not supposed to) asked me when I was going to start decorating. I said I wasn’t, that we were ambivalent (mas o menos) about Christmas. Not about presents, just about Christmas.

Hoo, wrong answer. She eyed me suspiciously, you could tell she was having serious doubts about my goodness. I watched her struggle to accept my answer. She did finally, only because she likes me. And the paycheck. I realize she doesn’t care to discuss my views on Jesus and The Big Event, because, well, who could doubt that? But not celebrating Christmas without good reason? That is suspect.

It’s been a couple of weeks now and she is still pining for decorations. So when Mom gets back, we are going to La Garita and buying a Norfolk pine in a pot to decorate. I have my big purple ball from last year to put on it. Mom is bringing icicles. Strand of lights and, voilà, the miracle of Christmas alive and well at la casa de los vidrios . It will go nicely with the BOOM!s rattling all that glass.


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