The holidays are my favorite time of the year but sorry to say, I am stricken with the hallmark syndrome. This means I am always hunting for the perfect Christmas. My perfect Christmas includes just a sprinkling of snow, Christmas carolers, a few Christmas pageants, and of course all my favorite holiday food. My fantastic fairy tale Christmas ended the second I moved out of the United States, and into Afghanistan, a country that did not celebrate my favorite holiday. Trying to hide my disappointment that first Christmas morning, was very difficult. Life was moving forward as it was just another normal day in the beauty school. I tried to remain festive and upbeat but that was between retreating into the bathroom crying like a big baby and missing my family like crazy. I kept repeating over and over to the students that its Christmas, this is a special day. I described how we always ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and would give presents to our friends and family. No one seemed to really understand what this “holiday” but they did understand that I said, turkey. The next morning one of my students informed me that I had a surprised waiting for me at the door. Yes, you guessed it, one very old grumpy turkey. It was then that I knew I had to learn to create my own Christmas no matter were I lived. I pardon that Christmas turkey and he lived to a rip old age and from that point forward I worked together with my students and staff at the beauty school and coffee house, to create a beautiful culturally mixed celebration that was even better than the ones I had at home. But about the time we all got the hang of this Christmas in Afghanistan, I moved.
When I arrived to Mexico, I thought, this should be easy. It's a strong catholic country that loves to celebrate everything, how hard could it be to have the perfect Christmas. Well it proved to be a bigger challenge than I expected. I was in search of finding my own holiday groove when I got hit by a wave, I mean a heat way. Putting up the Christmas tree is always my first step to finding Christmas. I nearly had a heat stroke when from my Bose speakers I heard the the choir singing chestnut roasting on an open fire. Ok, I am not complaining that I live in the Mexican Riviera, but I have to say that putting up a snow flocked Christmas tree in 27-degree heat while fighting with the Christmas lights was not fun. I don't love cold weather but my chronic hallmark syndrome went into overdrive. I wanted it to feel like the post card, I wanted the snow to fall lightly while the Christmas carols were being sung. Instead of jack frost nipping at my nose, I had sweat running into my eyes while cockroaches the size of Chihuahuas were sneaking under my door. The only caroling I could hear was the shoes shine guy singing his song drumming up business to polish my flip flops. So now over 7 years later I have had to make a few adjustments. First, I prepare the house by putting the air conditioner on artic blast. I bundle up the grand kids in their wintertime wardrobe and add a few scarfs from my closet. We sit in our fake cold Christmas house, put up a Christmas tree, drink hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies. After we have had our fill of freezing we turn off the air conditioner, open the front door, let in the warm air, put on our flip flops and head to the beach.