Although there have been some adjustments made due to the pandemic, the Rio Grande Valley has not forgotten Christmas and the reason for the celebration. Many churches have been unable to celebrate with their usual posadas held on church properties. Instead, the churches are encouraging people to celebrate within their own families and neighborhoods. For those of you new to South Texas, a posada is the enactment of Mary and Joseph seeking a place for the Christ child to be born. Special songs requesting lodging are sung as the group moves from house to house. The most beautiful posada that I have ever witnessed was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
A young girl dressed as Mary was actually riding on a donkey that was being led by a young boy representing Joseph. As they moved from house to house asking for a place to stay, they continued to be denied until finally they reached the hotel where I was staying with my group. There the inn keeper answered their request, and the party began. They had cookies and hot chocolate and of course, a pinata filled with all kinds of candies for the youngsters. If you should be among the lucky ones asked to participate in a posada, be sure to accept the honor. I guarantee you will never regret it.
The pandemic has brought about some other changes in the way we celebrate the holidays. In order to respect the recommendations of the CDC, many cities have changed their Christmas celebrations. Where in years before you could walk through the light displays, now it is drive through only. The Hidalgo Festival of Lights moved from the Hidalgo City Hall to the Payne Arena with a drive through display.
The most recent addition to a drive through display can be found at the H.E.B. Park in Edinburg located at 1616 S. Raul Longoria Rd. Entry is free. The lights are on from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. and will be available for you to view until January 2, 2021. This is Edinburg’s first Annual Light Display where thousands of twinkly lights welcome you to a mile-long themed entertainment. The city does ask that you observe the organized flow of traffic to avoid any traffic jams.
A few traditions have not changed regardless of where you are. Since I grew up in the South, one of our Southern traditions was to have black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. If you eat black-eyed peas on January 1, they say you will be guaranteed good luck all year. I firmly believe this is a Southern tradition for once I asked someone from the East Coast if they had eaten their black-eyed peas for good luck. They looked at me in bewilderment and asked, “What's that?” If you have never eaten black-eyed peas, try the canned ones with Bush being my favorite brand to buy. Let us make you a little more Southern - or maybe a little more Texan - and have you bake a pan of cornbread to go with those peas.
While you are getting your meal ready for January l, remember your positive New Year's resolution!!! No more negatives in 2021. Let us make it a positive year. If you are still having trouble next week with coming up with a unique resolution all your own, I will share with you my resolution which you can feel free to adopt as your own if you wish. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing during this wonderful time of the year, may you, your family and your loved ones have a Blessed Season.