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We are invited to a Posada

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Mexicali Nativity Scene

Jim, Matthew, and I were invited to a Posada at the home of the owners of the Fiesta Room.

There are frequent Mexican social events and delicious home-cooked Mexican food at the Fiesta Room.

Miguel and his wife, Elena, and their team of chefs were always busy whipping up great dishes for their customers.

We were very honored to be included in their family party.

The Posada is a series of parties that starts on the 16th of December and end on the 24th of December.

This is the Christian celebration of ‘innkeepers’ opening their doors to Joseph and Mary who are going to Bethlehem for the Census according to the Scriptures.

Each family in a neighborhood will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their home, starting on the 16th of December and finishing on the 24th on the Noche Buena.

Miguel invited us to his home, and told us not to bring anything, except ourselves. Just be there at 8:00pm!

We parked the truck, and walked 50 yards or so to Miguel’s and Elena’s home.

It was a double-story solid cement brick building, painted white, with black iron wrought balconies for the upstairs rooms.

The whole place was lighted up with Christmas lighting so that guests could enjoy and see everything.

We had never been invited to a home of a Mexicali resident for La Posada, and, of course, this was a very special event. Jim who speaks Spanish told Matthew that something special was going to happen.

No stranger gets invited!

As we walked towards the main door, Miguel came ducking out from the backyard.

“Welcome to my home! My wife, Elena and I are so happy that you all came.” Said Miguel with the biggest smile I have ever seen.

“Well thank you, Miguel, this is an honor for us!” said Jim, who shook hands and both men gave each other a brief hug.

“Maryann, come inside now, yes, your brother as well!” said Miguel showing us the way.

We entered the living room, which was beautifully decorated for Christmas. There was a huge seven-foot Christmas tree, loaded with multi-colored lights and glittering ornaments.

Beneath the tree, must have been 50 odd wrapped up presents, the wrapping papers and the bows came in all colors of the rainbow.

In the living room, there was a Samsung 55-inch flatscreen TV on, and a bunch of children were playing games on it.

My guess was humm—the new X-Box 360 Console. (That’s what our grandkids, Orville and Wilbur want for Christmas).

Everyone said “Hi,” and Elena came out of the kitchen, all dressed up in a beautiful red dress. She looked lovely.

“You are finally here! Come with me, I want you to meet all of our family members now.” said Elena, as she took me by the hand, and we walked towards the backyard porch, first going through a big formal dining room.

As we entered the back garden, there were 5 tables of people who raised their hands and said, “Hola!”

Miguel and Elena had a big family!

“MaryAnn, Jim, Matthew, this is my mother, my father, my brothers, my sisters—they all sit on this side. Elena’s parents are on the other side, and these are her sisters and brothers!” said a happy Miguel.

We said our Hellos, and Miguel, not one to miss a beat, said, “Where is the beer? Here, beer for Jim and Matthew, Maryann, we have red wine, and Elena’s home-made sangria, filled with apples and other fruits, chopped up small in the drink!” exulted a happy Miguel.

“I’ll have Elena’s Sangria,” I said.

“Good choice!” said Miguel who was guiding us to our seats at the front table.

“Here, sit down, and we will have dinner real soon!” said Miguel, as he headed off to the house again.

There had to be 40 or 50 people dining with us. People were talking and laughing. Mothers were carrying crying and happy babies.

Children were running around—in and out of the house,

We talked to our fellow guests, one of whom was a good-looking man, Hector, who introduced himself, “I am Miguel’s brother-in-law, and there is my wife, Dolores, see—over there in the kitchen window?—she is Elena’s younger sister.”

“Nice to meet you Hector we all chorused together as we shook hands.

“Miguel told us about the incident when Paulina fell in the restaurant, and how you ran and grabbed her,” said Hector with a smile.

“Oh yes, well it was nothing, Paulina was carrying a tray of empty beer glasses, I happened to look up at her, I saw her trip, I ran up and grabbed her—no big deal!” I said.

“No big deal? It is a big deal. You saved Paulina’s beautiful face from being cut into pieces MaryAnn!” said Hector with a surprised look.

“Uh—anyone would have done the same for her,” I said with a smile.

“Ah but it was you, MaryAnn! Jim, what a man you are to choose such a beautiful and smart wife!” said Hector as he pushed the very large family Rottweiler away.

Matthew froze up, “That is one big dog, you have Hector.”

“Don’t worry, that’s Brolly, he doesn’t bite, unless a stranger touches him.” said Hector, grabbing Brolly and hugging him.

“See?” said Hector.

Brolly came sniffing up to each of us. We froze. After checking us out, the big Rottweiler sauntered off into the crowd.

Dolores and an army of women came out of Elena’s kitchen, carrying a big dishes of lasagna along with piles of salad, plates of hot red tamales, bowls of pozzole, trays of quiche Lorraine, Christmas cookies, quesadillas dripping with hot melted cheese, and corn tacos filled with chopped beef.

The mixture of aromas from the different foods served was scintillating, and everyone began to eat as soon as the foods arrived.

One of Miguel’s signature dishes is Chilorio, which is pork in a chile sauce and “Campechana Sinaloense,” a cocktail of fresh seafood.

Chilorio is a pork dish (often used as a filling for tacos or burritos) from the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The pork is fried in chile sauce until tender and usually flavored with onions, cumin, oregano, garlic and salt.

The food just kept pouring out of Elena’s kitchen.

“Hola, soy Dolores.” said Dolores.

“Mucho gusto, mucho gusto!” I replied, thinking carefully.

“You speak Spanish?” asked Dolores, who was dressed in red dress equally beautiful as Elena’s.

“Un poquito, just a little to get by, but I’m learning,” I said.

“It is wonderful to meet all of you; Miguel and Elena have told us so much about you!” Dolores said, as took the seat next to Hector.

“Thank You! I’m sorry that we didn’t bring anything, Miguel said to just bring ourselves,” I answered embarrassed.

“No don’t worry! Everything is fine,” answered Dolores.

“We have made the best lasagna for you and your family! And Elena has been making quiche; I hope you will like everything,” said Dolores.

“We are just so honored to be here,” I replied.

“We are—it’s not often a Mexican family invites us for Posada,” said Jim.

“It is we that are honored to have all of you here, to meet our whole family,” said Dolores, smiling, as Hector piled more food onto her plate.

All the men were drinking Tecate Lite beer by now, and the women stayed with red wine and sangria.

Miguel’s three children, Paulina, Adrianna, and Miguel Jr were seated across from us.

She looked like Jessica Alba

She looked like Jessica Alba

I couldn’t help but think how much Paulina looked like the American actress, Jessica Alba.

Paulina’s sister, Adrianna was equally beautiful. Paulina had blue eyes, and Adrianna had brown.

Miguel Jr had green eyes, and looked like a younger version of his father, Miguel.

Both girls were studying medicine at UABC, which is the University of Baja California.

We could see how proud and happy Elena and Miguel were of their handsome children.

Dolores and Hector had three boys, called Gabriel, Fernando, and Hector Jr.

What can I say? Dolores was the ultimate mamasita to her boys, who were in the same age groups as their cousins.

“It’s nice to meet you!” said Gabriel.

“Yeah, we heard all about you saving Paulina. Cool,” said Fernando.

“Nina was very lucky’. We will talk later…” chimed in Hector Jr.

“Matthew, what are you drinking?” I asked as he started taking out his white gloves from his fannypack.

“I’m having soda pop, just like the kids! They tell me that we are going to have a Karaoke singing contest tonight?” said an excited Matthew.

“Guess what?” said Matthew in a quiet tone.

“What?” I asked.

“I brought my white gloves! There’s going to be a singing contest! You know, Karaoke style!” answered Matthew.

“How do you know all this stuff Matthew?” I asked.

“Juan-Carlos here, sitting next to me. He’s tellin’ me!” answered Matthew.

For dessert, we had Mexican fried bananas, added in with a dash of Grand Marnier, and a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream on each plate.

“This dessert is called Platonas Machos!” said Dolores.

“I love it!” I answered back as I gobbled up the dessert.

“Elena makes it fresh, so easy, and we just keep putting more when our guests need it,” smiled Dolores.

“Well I’ll have another plate please, it’s delicious,” said a happy Jim.

“Me too…” I said.

“Oh, could I have another plate?” asked Matthew.

“Ah, good, this makes us very happy to see all of you enjoy our dishes!” said Dolores, getting up from the table.

“More dessert for everyone! Elena… we need more Platonas Machos…add in the ice-cream, check – I brought eight tubs of vanilla ice-cream, they are in the big freezer! yelled Dolores to her sister.

With dinner over, Miguel made a speech to his entire family.

“Please welcome my friends here. This lady, MaryAnn, she saved my Nina from having her face cut!” yelled a happy Miguel.

“This is our gift to all of you,” smiled a beautiful Elena.

And what a surprise gift it was!

Our La Posada gift!

Our La Posada gift!

We got a huge gift of 2 bottles of L. A. Cetto Mexican wines, a box of Mexican Belgium chocolates called Trufas Belgas, a packet of Dulce de Guayaba con Cajeta, and a large packet of Obleas Las Sevillanas wafers with goat’s milk candy.

“For us?” I asked.

“No way!” This is such a big beautiful gift, Miguel!” said Jim

“We brought nothing,” I said with a baffled look.

“Ah…but you saved my Nina’s face,” said Miguel

“You saved Paulina’s life. Can you imagine what would have happened if you did not pull my daughter away from falling onto the broken glass? Ay!” said Miguel.

“You are like family now!” chimed in Elena.

“Well, I’ll be darn!” laughed Jim.

“This is Mexican tradition!” said Hector.

“We don’t know what to say except… Thank You so much!” I replied.

“We are happy you like our gift,” said Elena.

“We don’t have to buy Kit Kats for Maryann now!” said Jim, chuckling.

“Thank You Miguel and Elena!” I said.

We had a Karaoke singing contest. Matthew won, singing New York, New York with his gloves on holding the microphone.

The whole family cheered and clapped as Matthew sang. For a minute there, we thought “Frankie was in the room with us!”

Matthew won a free dinner for two at the Fiesta Room.

By the end of the evening, with babies sleeping, and children continuing to play games on the TV, we thanked Miguel and Elena for a wonderful and unforgettable day in our lives here in Mexicali.

“Come for Christmas now!” said Miguel.

“We would love to, but we are having our children and grandchildren down to Mexicali to spend it with us,” said Jim.

“Then, the next one eh?” said Miguel, without hesitation.

As we left Miguel’s home, we thought of how important the family is to Mexicans.

Jim carried the gift basket, and Matthew, well—he was going to sing again, for our very own Christmas.

Viva La Posada!

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