Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Lights in Old San Juan

Three Kings Day is celebrated in Puerto Rico on January 6th, so there are many lights alluding to the Kings. Of course, we know the Bible, doesn't call them Kings, but Wise Men, and it doesn't say they were three, but it doesn't say they weren't either. The three gifts gave rise to three, and that is good enough for me. I saw a teleevangelist critizing the Three Kings celebration, and in my opinion he had lost the big picture. The celebration focuses on the Three Kings coming to worship Jesus. What could honor him more?!
In Puerto Rico, children gather grass in a shoebox and place it underneath their beds at night. The grass is for the horses on which the Three Kings ride. In some homes, in addition to the grass they also put a bowl with water. Anyway, I did it too. One day in my late teens, I thought, well I know who the Three Kings are, so I casually asked Daddy if I still needed to put grass for the Kings. Without a moments hesitation, Daddy said if there was no grass there would be no gifts. There was never a question that there would be grass for the Reyes Magos, until I moved out and married. So when I had a family of my own, I continued to follow the tradition. At my house, I had to help the Three Kings out by the disposing of the grass and water. Late at night, around midnight, I would stealthily tuck the grass away in a plastic bag which I invaribly found transformed into a deep green liquid months later while cleaning out a closet. (Trying to do these manuveurs without waking the children was quite a feat, knowing the Kings and horses were right beside me.) The empty shoeboxes were placed under the bed again right next to the gifts the Three Kings left the children. It was always a joy to see my children's faces as they discovered their gifts in the morning. Later as I reflect, I realized it had been a good thing to do even though I had been raised "a la americana." One of my daughters who lives in Alberta Canada, also celebrates Three Kings Day, and it encourages me that my little granddaughters, though very American-Canadian, still honor their Puerto Rican traditions. Ole!!!
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Christmas Lights in Old San Juan

I originally posted some pictures on a grid but I figured most of you would enjoy seeing an enlarged version of each photo, which isn't available in a grid. Aren't they spectacular?

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Lights in San Juan Puerto Rico

Just when I thought I had seen the most beautiful light display in Mount Dora, I turned the corner and came to Old San Juan. I did the best I could to take these pictures from the car I was in, at times stopping the traffic and other times stopped in traffic. You will notice faces and faint outlines of people blended in the background, since there was plenty of activity in Old San Juan even at 7:30 in evening on a Thursday night. We drove right through a concert in Old San Juan with the Police Band. Security was everywhere. It was cute. I hope you enjoy these pictures and pardon the lack of light.

The Canino-Koning Vazquez Week

Lots of fun here with Rosita, Kendall, and Juan. Juan joined us for Christmas eve. Enjoy the pictures. Notice all the different expressions on Kendall's face, but especially the one in the final photo where he is losing to the Canino duo, Juan and Rosita.

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Christmas with the Koning-Canino's

Being with Rosita and Kendall is the equivalent of tons of fun, ideas floating softly or swiftly over my head, the addition of trillions of new words and observing a new form of communication which seems entirely exclusive to them with their phrases full of allusions to previously watched movies or private memoirs. Regardless of that I was able to understand the greater part of their conversations and also enjoy playing Settlers at least eight times with them. Rosita, or Rose as Kendall has rebaptized her, is always more lucky when I am around and managed to beat Kendall off his throne, so you will see a picture with him frowning due to his lack of winningness. Is that a word? We got to go to Winter Park and enjoyed Park Avenue where we ate at the Briar Patch, walked the Christmas decorated street up and down and did plenty of window shopping and then stopped for some wine tasting. It was a neat experience because we could sample different wines for a very reasonable cost. I only sampled one because I had inadvertantly left my corduroy jacket at the restaurant and had to trek back to the restaurant while they did wine tasting. Good exercise. That same day we went on a boat tour which was a lot of fun. Later in the week we went to the Northland candlelight service and since we were at a public school, we were fireless yet illuminated with keychain flashlights. A little corny, but it was about honoring the Light of the World, so we held up our little flashlights.

To all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.