Well, we have survived another Christmas in Playa! I have to admit, I was very disappointed this October when we looked at our calendar and realized that we had just too many customers coming into town for the holidays. Not that we're not THRILLED to have the business...I just wish they would all wait until my holidays have come to a close. Ah well, such is the life of a Real Estate agent in the tropics. If you have never experienced it before, Christmas here is a bit anti-climatic. Perhaps if we were here on vacation, celebrating the holidays, I would feel more cheery about the whole situation. Nice warm weather, palm trees, sandy beaches, fruity tropical cocktails. It all sounds quite appealing. However, we are NOT on vacation. We have called Playa del Carmen home for three years now. Having three children, we struggle every winter to instill in them that delightful sense of anticipation and excitement that naturally accompanies Christmas in the northeastern United States. While I love that there is far less emphasis on commercialism for the holidays here in Mexico, I have now come to realize that it that same demon commercialism that helps to build the excitement about Christmas and the iconic Santa Claus that we experienced as children in New England. There is no incessant hawking of Christmas gifts on the TV, no constant reminders telling us how many shopping days we have left until the big night, no updates from the postal service with their yearly claims of new record shipping numbers. Call me crazy, but I think I actually miss all that.

Here is what we DO have in Playa at Christmas time: crowds, congestion and lines a mile long. Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like standing for an hour in line at Mega. As traditionally, Christmas in Mexico is more of a religious holiday, a time for families to spend together and not necessarily a big gift giving event, I wondered what the heck every single inhabitant of Playa del Carmen and, perhaps, the whole Mayan Riviera was doing in Walmart on December 24th! For god's sake, if gifts are given on Three Kings Day (Jan.6), then the least they could do was wait until the very last moment to do their shopping, as I had clearly done. In protest, on January 6th, you will be able to find me blocking the aisles in Soriana, leaving my cart in everyone's way and ignoring the furtive glances of my fellow shoppers as they scramble to make their last minute purchases. If I am feeling really festive, maybe I will bring my kids and pretend not to see when they randomly remove items from other people's carts. I feel all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. Merry Christmas everyone! Happy New Year and Happy Three Kings Day!