The holiday season has officially arrived on our island of Cozumel. And, just like a kid, I’m getting excited. We really do it up down here. Cozumel puts up giant trees, street banner lights, nativity scenes, you name, we probably have it. Not to mention some of the folks who really get into the season by decorating their homes with some super creativity. Soon I hope to roam the streets taking pics of all the colorful displays, which, of course, I’ll share. But, to kick things off, I thought I’d take you along with me to a great little party thrown by wonderful folks in their lovely home. The view was spectacular, the food was quite tasty, and the friendships were abundantly clear.
Beverly and Peter were our hosts. They have a great condo with a view of the ocean on one side, and the thick jungle on the other. From their balcony you can see cruise ships and sailboats as well as all the activities that are happening on the main drag, which is Melgar. The party was thrown for the mermaids, a group of us women who like to start off our days by swimming close to a mile in the ocean. We start at the Blue Angel and swim in depths of 10 to 30 feet to a dock, chat a moment, then swim back. Trust me, if you’re looking for a way to get your day going, it’s way better than coffee. But, I still bring my mug along and sit for a bit after we get back. This shared activity has led us to form some great friendships and we now find ourselves doing all sorts of things together. This party was a great way to kick off the season.
Many of the mermaids also brought their men along, which made for a good-sized gathering. Beverly had laid out quite a spread that included three types of quiche, fruit, veggies, sweet rolls, candies. It was a feast. Peter made sure the coffee was brewing, mimosas were handy, and the good times began. I just started to walk around with my camera capturing the moments. At this point, people are familiar with my tactics and they all played along. Yes, we have a few hams in the crowd, and certainly no-one seems shy.
After eating some food, talking with friends, exchanging some laughter, it was time to participate in what was called a “Chinese Gift Exchange.” Now, I don’t know where the name came from, and I’m not going to worry about it, because it was nothing but hilarious. Here’s the concept. Those who participated brought a gift, a monetary limit was suggested so all who wanted could participate. The gifts all went into a pile and everyone was given a number. When your number was called you had the opportunity to either pick from the pile, or “steal” a gift someone else had already opened. And that was when it got fun. There were some great gifts, holiday coffee mugs, movie cards, a bracelet, an exotic cloth wrap, well, you get the idea. And, they were all so nice that they all kept getting stolen. You’d see someone clutching their gift because they didn’t want to lose it, but they’d lose it anyway. One poor woman, who is the newest member of our group, had her gifts stolen five different times. She was a great sport about it too, but that didn’t stop the laughter. Oh, and the men who didn’t participate, just lined up along the walls and laughed along with us. We provided great entertainment!
After that it was time for pics and then goodbyes. Everyone lined up for me, but I get bored with traditional shots. I tend to start coaxing people to “do something, anything.” I’m making odd gestures, and wiggling my body, and then they started getting silly too. You would have thought we were a bunch of college girls, and that was the best part. What a joy to be with good friends where you can act silly, let your hair down, and just have fun. Between you and me? I had tears, what fun!
As all things do, however, we had to start saying our goodbyes. And, for those of you who are familiar with the island ways, you just know that folks everywhere started kissing cheeks and giving hugs. All offers to help Beverly put her home back together were refused so off we went with gifts in hand and last-minute conversational tidbits. It was an even better way to start the day than swimming, who knew? Still, once the weather clears up we’ll all be back in the waters again.
If you’ve never been to Cozumel over the holidays, let me suggest that you try to do it sometime. In my humble opinion, I think it should be on everyone’s bucket list. The sun is warm, the beaches are beautiful so it might not seem to be the traditional way to spend the holidays. But, what we lack in snow, we more than make up for in so many, many other ways. Thanks again, Beverly and Peter, for helping us to get this season started. Salud!
p.s. I’ll be getting some pics of a great little holiday tradition with Candy Cane Corki, Santa, and a bunch of happy kiddies, as well as some shots of our festive displays. Hope to see you soon. Happy Holidays!