Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Xmas on the Island...

Xmas has been happening here since around November when we first saw xmas trees at Sam's Club. There was one tree outside in a kind of tree lot and the rest were in a refrigerated container. Not something we are used to seeing! After Thanksgiving the came the Ur ur ur ur early bird sale which started the shopping season off at around 5 or 6 am. When I first heard the ad on the radio it cracked me up because I understood it...it had rooster sounds and then some words that essentially meant "early bird" sale! Very funny! Then came the santa caps. Our neighbor lady was working in her yard (machete in hand as always) in 80+ degrees with a santa cap on. Here are a couple santa caps in action... the first was at an intersection with kids asking for donations for something (not sure what) and the second was in Mayaguez at Ricomini's "home of the jelly rolls" we are addicted to.

A few days ago we started just driving around to see what was up behind our house and in the general area. Then we took an evening stroll in our immediate neighborhood to look at xmas lights and decorated houses. There are some nice homes with very nice yards on our street and some of those yards have very unusual plants in them. One house has a strange gourd tree and a tree with some interesting hanging beads of fruit. This first house had lights everywhere and of course the xmas tree on the front porch. This house was decorated very nicely and I just love the lit up palm trees!

This pretty little house has really nice ironworks, a meticulous yard and poinsettias (which look like yucca plants to me) hanging under each arch. I like to stroll around looking for ideas for our yard and also to meet people who live nearby so we can at least take a walk and they will know we belong here.

We took an afternoon to tour our own city - San German. There is some wonderful architecture that is only seen by walking and on weekends there are fewer cars so it is easier to drive and park. The town has two plazas which is an unusual layout. There were xmas displays (trees) and the 3 Kings of course. 3 Kings day I think is January 6. One of the kings was taking a ride in the back of a truck to another location I think! It was odd to me that a xmas tree was in the plaza next to a live, beautiful tree that could have been but wasn't decorated!

The 3 Kings may be the inspiration for the creepy mascot that Burger King has. Kind of scary. So I had to include the creepy king head in some images just for fun!

The kings were very large (except the little statue in the first picture - bottom right) and kind of creepy looking.

One thing I love here is that there are colorful houses. In Washington everything was grisly grey, barf brown or some variation there of...here there is real color. Many people spend a lot of time on their porches and a lot of people have their xmas trees there.

Well that's it for xmas - we think - we haven't heard any fiestas today but boy there have been some loud ones. Lots of music and singing and instrument playing and fireworks going on for weeks now. I wonder what new year's eve and 3 Kings day will be like...musical I am sure!

1 comment:

Ivan said...

You should check out the City of Mayaguez's Plaza. I imagine they should have some good Christmas decorations.

And if you want to know a real typical tradition is a "Velorio de Reyes" which is a party some people throw in their houses on the night of January 5, in honor to the Three Kings with an altar with some Three Kings wood santos. There is a lot of typical Puerto Rican music like the Plena and Aguilnaldo, and home made "Pitorro" liquor involved.

On January 6 all the island's Mayors and the Governor are giving away free toys to all the kids. They have very big festivities that day in Old San Juan.

Xmas Holidays last until the 8th of January.