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by Donneley McCann

Christmas is one of those holidays that just seems to be filled with cheer and wonder. Luckily, the season is now upon us! We have listed below a few things you can do to celebrate here in La Paz, filling your holidays with happiness and memory making.

  1. Lustily sing Christmas songs and carols, whether you are traveling in your car alone or with someone. Who cares if you’re not on key?
  2. Place one or two or more Noche Buena plants(also known as Poinsettia, after a US ambassador to Mexico who sent some home to the US) at your home’s entrance. Whether coming or going, you and your visitors will enjoy the rich welcoming colour of this ancient Aztec flower.
  3. 3. Bake and decorate batches of cookies to deliver to your neighbours, the firemen, service providers, hospital receptions, etc., as a sign of goodwill among mankind.
  4. Tour the city after dark to view the festivity of Christmas lights and displays twinkling on even the humblest of homes. Be sure to drive down the malecon to the Araiza Inn turn-off and enjoy the governments holiday lights! Take along some kids and/or adults who might otherwise not have such an opportunity. As a finale, buy them a treat (an ice cream cone?) and just enjoy their happy faces.
  5. Gather up sweaters, warm clothes, and blankets to deliver to the Asilo de Ancianos San Vincente de La Paz (old folks’ home) on Calle Ballandra 222 so they, too, may stay warm and cozy during cooler temperatures. Wouldn’t hurt to hand out chocolates and candy.
  6. Buy some Noche Buena beer, brewed in Moctezuma only for the Christmas season, and serve it chilled to yourself or share with visitors. Its label is very Christmassy and the beer has a pleasant aroma. It is said to be the best of Mexican beer.Noche Buena cerveza at Harker Board Co. on the malecon in La Paz



7. Brew a batch of Ponche de Navidad, a traditional Mexican punch, and serve it to all who come calling — especially when enjoying cool nights outdoors on your patio. It is not unheard of to spice it further with a drop or two of brandy, rum, or tequila.


3 apples, cut into pieces

5 or 6 guavas

12 tecojotes

1 cup raisins

1 cinnamon stick

2 puffs (cone shaped sugar)

1 sugar cane, cut into pieces

3 liters of water

1/2 pound tamarindo

two sliced oranges

Mix all these in a big pot; bring the water to boil and let boil for 5 minutes on high heat. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes more. Let rest for half an hour. Reheat when required.

There are numerous other recipes on the internet. Try it… you’ll like it!

  1. Have a potluck coffee-and-cake block/condo party and invite even your grumpiest neighbours to participate. Surely sharing a little spirit of Christmas will bring smiles all around. End it with a piñata.
  2. Make a stovetop potpourri to have your home smelling like Christmas: Combine 1/2 cup cranberries, 1 sliced orange, 4 cinnamon sticks broken in half, 1 tbsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and 2 or 3 cups of water. Simmer over low heat for as long as desired, adding more water if necessary; and reheat when desired.
  3. Serve an Ensalada de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve Salad)


4 small beets


2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 lb jicama

1 orange

2 – 3 tablespoons lime juice

1 red apple

2 small bananas

6 large romaine leaves, finely shredded

3 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Cut off beet tops leaving about 1 inch of stems. Do not remove root. Scrub beets and place in small saucepan. Add water to cover, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; cover and simmer 4 minutes or until beets are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Rub off skin under cold running water. Refrigerate beets until serving time. Before serving, peel jicama and cut into small wedges. Leave apple unpeeled but cored and sliced and dipped into bowl with lime juice. Peel orange and slice in half. Peel banana and cut into thin slices.Dip into lime juice. Cut cooked and peeled beets into thin slices. Line a broad shallow salad bowl with shredded romaine. Arrange jicama, orange, beet, apple, and banana slices in alternating circles or any pattern you prefer. Sprinkle with peanuts and pine nuts. Top with pomegranate seeds.

In a small bowl blend 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, and vingar until sugar is dissolved.

Drizzle over salad just before serving. Serves 6.

Little elves caroling

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