Skip to main content

Happy Thanksmas: Paisanos, Posadas and Party People

(from the archives)The following article was first found on the now defunct DeLaredo.Net, but its subject matter is still relevant today. Initially, I wrote it several days after Thanksgiving 2007. Please keep that in mind as you read the short opinion piece.

Happy ThanksMas: Paisanos, Posadas and Party People
by DeLaredo

Another holiday season is here upon us, and with it have arrived the long lines at the international bridges and the jam-packed crowds at the mall that makes shopping unbearable. Also, it's the season of endless posadas and a flooding of champurrado that brings smiles to even the most hardened Scrooges. Still, as much as I love this season of joy and giving, it seems that every year the Christmas season is extended and exploited further and combined into a two month extravaganza.

All around my subdivision, some of my eager neighbors have already put up their Christmas decorations right after Halloween. Turkey Day has not even passed and they are already looking forward to Santa. To them, it seems as if Thanksgiving and Christmas have been combined and intertwined into one mega-sized holiday that I call "Thanksmas". Even retail stores, in their greed and savvy business tactics begin to push all their Christmas items in mid-November. But what is all the hurry? Why don't we take it one holiday at a time? That way we can savor each holiday for what it is. They are not interchangeable and both have wonderful elements within themselves.

Still, things such as "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" seem to turn the season into nothing more than an empty and soulless materialistic grab-bag in which we, as consumers, seem to be bamboozled by the big media, into robotically attacking the malls in hordes like the zombies in Romero's Dawn of the Dead. Surely there is more to the holidays than buying senseless gadgets and spending hours of dead time in a mall and running around like ants in a rainstorm. But, don't get me wrong, I understand fully the need of buying and selling for our economy to remain robust and healthy, still, it seems that in the process we have to sell our souls to corporate giants that turn the importance of Christmas (xmas?) into sales, receipts, gift cards and mark-down prices.

That brings me to my next point. The stores get so jam-packed with shoppers that one has to be insane to go to Mall del Norte, Wal Mart, Target etc during this time. Good luck even finding a parking space. And here locally, half the shoppers are Mexican nationals, and its to such a degree that if you walk into the Wal-Mart on I-35 you'd think you were in Monterrey! A quick glance at the parking lot reveals that a huge percentage of our holiday shoppers come from south of the border from states such as Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Tamps and even Guanajuato. That Wal-Mart in particular (I-35) is perpetually in a state of total chaos and the other stores nearby such as Ross and Kohls are inundated by busloads of thirsty Mexican shoppers. To say that we need them is an understatement. Without these Mexican shoppers, the Laredo economy would be in the toilet. Still, it seems to drag all the fun out of the holidays having so much traffic from the passing paisanos on their way to the Mexican interior and the long lines at the stores by the frenzy of shoppers seeking imaginary sales.

However, I refuse to let this destroy my holidays. Thanksgiving has passed and gone. Now we can safely put up the Christmas lights and focus on that glorious holiday (whatever it may mean to you). We can attend all the posadas from work and friends and the tamales and champurrado is sure to fill our bellies. But in the end, after we exhaust our bodies and our wallets with half-off sales, and after we survive the relentless amounts of local and foreign shoppers, all that is left is the spirit of a simple yet brilliant holiday. Christmas. With all its trappings and its seeming facade as a day of religious observance, it still remains a magical and absolutely triumphant season. The warmth of family and friends and the spiritual bond that Christmas brings cannot be found on the shelves at Best Buy, but only in the heart and soul of each person. And that my friends, in a time of chaos and rampant empty materialism is something worth celebrating.


rick78 said…
Cool "Festavas for the rest of us"!

Popular posts from this blog

Local Beauty Queen Arrest

The Laredo Morning Times seems to want a little web traffic on their ol' web page.  At least that's what I think when the arrest of a local "beauty queen" made it to the front page.  Oh, it was not on page 4-5, where the local arrests are usually noted, but on the top right hand corner.

A few months ago the local organ of publicity started publishing weekly mugshots on their webpage.  Generally speaking their more attractive women usually garner the most "web hits."  So, once Ms. Prieto-Falcon's mugshot (seen above) makes it to the album, I expect a new record.

Just saying.

Play-More (and other Urban Legends)

I have a friend who swears on his 1988 Fleer baseball card set, that way back, sometime in the mid 80s, there existed something called the Play-more. According to his vivid imagination, the Playmore was a cross between Putt-Putt golf and Disney's Epcott Center. Every time he starts to rant about how good things were in the 80s in Laredo (minus the unpaved streets), his eyes light up and a goofy smile fills his face (a goofier smile than usual).

Go carts, arcades, a skating rink, a movie theater, according to my buddy, this place was Laredo's version of Astroworld. However, apparently, you have to be over 33 to remember this lost haven of yesteryear. I only arrived in 1992 to Laredo, years after this place apparently vanished. So if anyone out there remembers this place, drop by and leave some comments. Pictures of this lost city would be great appreciated. I think its just a crazy sugar induced illusion that my buddy concocted in between his imaginary friends.

Someone out ther…

My Experience with Emilio (by Cindy)

My Experience with Emilio by Cindy (guest contributor)

The year was 1994.  I can clearly remember waiting anxiously to go with my parents to the Casa Blanca baile.  The main attraction…Stephanie Lynn, Xelencia, and none other than Emilio Navaira.  I was in love with these Tejano bands.  I knew all of the lyrics to all of their songs.  I didn’t care if I was going with my parents for I was a teeny bopper, of sorts. Instead of crushing over Jordan Knight (which is a whole other article) I was in love with Emilio!  All I could think of was….”Como Le Hare” to get a picture with him and his chubby counterpart, Raulito!
I remember always nagging my parents to go see these bands, especially Selena and La Mafia.  I would plead…”but mom…what if something tragic happens and they die?!  We have to go see them today!”  And of course my mom would try to explain to me logically that nothing was going to happen and that we would go see them, “Next time, mijita.”  Well, sadly, these tragic things do ha…