Before I let the holiday slip away by I want to tell you about "La Villa de Santa Georgina". When I was a little boy in Chicago my great aunts Harrieta, Flavia, and Pelagia (Hattie, Flo, and Peggy) used to make a Christmas village every year at the base of the Christmas tree behind and to the sides of the nativity scene. The village that they made was quite detailed and spread out around base of the tree like a tiny community. Later on my sisters Suzanne (Suzy) and Kathryn (Kathy) carried on the tradition and Suzy's Christmas village in particular is realistic to the point of being spectacular. Of course, when my wife Gina learned about this she wanted one too and it just so happened that I came across some little ceramic houses of the Christmas style at Waldo's for only fifteen pesos each and I ended up buying a couple dozen. Then I made a little platform to hold the village and I covered it with unicél (oo-nee-SELL) which is what Styrofoam is called here in Mexico. I painted a background on a piece of plywood and attached it to the base. The whole thing sits below the counter of the arched divider that separates our kitchen area from our living room.
The name that I gave the village, "Santa Georgina", I took from real life. Gina's first name is actually "Georgina" and whenever she and her mother Carmelita start picking on me I start singing the litany of the saints in Latin in the old Gregorian chant style:
Sancta Georgina, ora pro nobis.
Saint Georgina, pray for us.
Sancta Carmelita, ora pro nobis.
Saint Carmelita, pray for us.
Ab omni malo, libera nos, Dómine.
From all evil, deliver us oh Lord.
This is just to remind them that they really aren't saints...YET!! I had a lot of fun working on this little project and I never really finished it because for one thing, I had too many supervisors. Fortunately, a good thing about Christmas is that "si Dios quiere" (if God is willing), it will come again next year and I can work on the village some more. My sisters have been working on theirs for almost forty years and they tell me that they are never quite finished. I guess the only time that when you are truly finished building a Christmas village is when you die. Anyway, I am pleased with the results so far even though it is one of the most eclectic Christmas villages that I have ever seen. That's okay though because everyone here seems to like it...especially "Santa" Georgina.
(Click to enlarge)
"And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, 'Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!'."
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