Here’s why Mexicans celebrate Christmas all year

Dear Mexican:

I was driving home on old King Road in San Jose, where a bunch of Mexicans live, and I noticed that almost every house still has Christmas lights hanging from the rafters, and reindeer and Santa Claus decorations weathered by the hot sun on the roofs. It’s the middle of May, ¿qué onda? I took it one step further, ’cause I figure I have to have another source for my research. I went down White Road (but only browns live there!). Same thing — Xmas lights hanging. Are my gente so festive that it’s hard to get over the holiday cheer? I mean, my mom would give me nalgadas if I didn’t take ours down the day after the Reyes came and went. Your thoughts on this holiday phenomenon?

Confused Wab

Dear Wab:

Mexicans never get over the Navidad because we never stop partying — everyone knows that! In fairness, our celebration of the winter holidays goes on much longer than gabacho Christians. We start off with Las Posadas, a re-creation of Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging in Bethlehem that occurs daily for eight days until Christmas Eve and that always involves caroling, piñatas and pozole. Christmas Eve brings the Rosary at an aunt’s house, tamales and flirting with your second cousin; Misa del Gallo (Rooster’s Mass) celebrates the birth of the Nazarene at midnight and follows with more food. The actual Christmas holiday is an afterthought because Mexican kiddies traditionally don’t receive their presents until January 6 — what gabachos call Epiphany and Mexicans deem el Día de los Reyes Magos (The Feast Day of the Magi). Then comes the cruelest form of child abuse that Mexican parents can inflict on their niños — giving them an Xbox 360 package stuffed with … underwear and socks.

Dear Mexican:

I asked you a question a couple of months ago. I don’t regularly read your column, so can you e-mail me to let me know when it’s going to run?

Chula in Chula Vista

Dear Readers:

For my year-end column, I usually run a question in which someone calls me a pussy for not answering his or her misspelled rant. But over the past year, I’ve received variants of the above pregunta much more often. The answer ultimately remains the same: patience, gabachos, negritos, chinitos, mariposas, wabs and everyone else who reads this column — patience. The ¡Ask a Mexican! archives now comprise about 260 pages of preguntas I’ve yet to answer. To specifically contestar the above question: lo siento, but I will not alert you when I finally get to your query — who do you think I am, a pinche Google alert? Nor will I individually answer you, as that would cut into my salary, and I would then have to take up my second job by the 7-Eleven selling fake phone cards. However, my promise remains: I will eventually respond in my column, whether in a week or in a couple of years. It’s your duty to read the Mexican week in, week out until I get there and to continue spreading my gospel in the meantime.

And ustedes have done an amazing job of that. This year has seen the Mexican invade 39 newspapers, so that more than 2 million people read the dead-tree edition of this column and muchos more online. Gracias, thank you, thank you, for all your nice words, angry screeds and spicy señoritas who become my MySpace friends; without your support, I would be fighting a Guatemalan for a broom. The Mexican will be in Mexico next week trying to smuggle the last of his relatives into los Estados Unidos, so a Best Of column will appear in its place. After that week, though, back to your queries about dwarves, anal sex and what all that has to do with corn tortillas. Feliz Navidad, Próspero Año Nuevo, and don’t let la migra catch you!

E-mail The Mexican at, find him at, or write to him via snail mail at: Gustavo Arellano, P.O. Box 1433, Anaheim, CA 92815-1433. Letters will be edited for clarity, cabrones. And include a hilarious pseudonym, por favor, or we’ll make one up for you!

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