Costa Baja Christmas Tree
Each December, a beautiful, two-story Christmas tree is erected in Marina Costa Baja. While it’s often easy to forget it is Christmastime here in flip-flop weather, the tree is a lovely reminder of the season. Constructed of a bundle of steel bars, it takes two days for one guy to weld these fragments into a giant, hollow, tee-pee skeleton. That’s right, I said weld. Over the next few days the structure is then meticulously spiral-encircled with probably a mile of fake green garland; white Christmas light pin-striping flows down from the gilded star to potted poinsettias surrounding the base. This Jolly Green Giant is then adorned with red and golden ornaments: cantaloupe-sized, sparkly orbs and smaller teardrops that I like to think resemble (artistically) chili peppers…a Red Hot Chili Pepper Christmas.
After the New Year, someone will take a cutting torch to the skeleton, rendering our mighty tree to a bundle of bars (and a gaggle of garland) once again. When we witnessed this process in 2014, my first thought was…why wouldn’t you buy a made-to-assemble, tinker-toy-type tree? You know…the IKEAesque ”no tools required” kind. Well, they’re not cheap…but this permits us a slight insight into how things are done here in Mexico. My guess is they probably already had the steel bars left over from some other building project. Joe the dockworker over here is a decent welder; let’s just have him do it. Labor is cheap – so the cost of labor for 4 days is waaaay cheaper than buying a commercial grade, erector-set tree, even if they have to pay a guy to weld it up and cut it down every year for the next 20 years. Food for thought. In the US, time is money; in Mexico, time is trivial, efficiency is underrated because labor is cheap… and dinero is still dinero.
Just up the dock from our boat, Marina Costa Baja sponsored an evening Christmas Market. About 30 merchants lined the sidewalk selling their wares atop decorated tables: dried spices, La Paz t-shirts, shell-art, handmade shoes, woven handbags, jewelry, pottery and more. I was more in it for the food (can’t fill a small boat with knickknacks). We soon discovered a chocolatier named Fan Fan and sampled their amazing chocolate brownies. Gotta have dessert first! The “Sausage Lady” was there too, a German transplant (I believe) whose handmade sausages are well-known throughout the La Paz cruising community; her spicy links and fresh baguette buns made a delish dinner. Costa Baja offered free Mexican hot chocolate and galletas (a hard sugar cookie) for all the attending marina, hotel and condo patrons. Finally, I could not resist taking home two enormous corn muffins filled with cajeta (sugary, caramely, creamy goodness) for breakfast. Delectable delights abound in La Paz…part of the reason we like this city!
Fav Christmas Movies
Every December it is our tradition to watch the following movies: It's a Wonderful Life, White Christmas and Elf. Sometimes Miracle on 34th Street. And usually, Die Hard, but not lately. Yes, it's a Christmas movie (according to my husband), remember? For the last two years when Christmas rolls around, we keep thinking we have the DVD... then remember we don't. We had the VHS tape (shows our age) but threw it away when we moved on the boat, no longer owning a VHS player. Today we did it again (this is becoming a running joke now), assuming we had it only to discover the opposite. Brian is shocked and dismayed - not having Die Hard on board is blastphemous! "Cause it's one of the best Christmas movies of all time!" says he.
Here in Baja Mexico we play in the sand instead of snow this time of year, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have Christmas trees and blow-up Santas just like home. So here are a few Christmas decoration pics to prove it…and I’ve added in some infinity pool shots just to make you guys in the north jealous. By the way, it’s about 75 today. We were freezing last week during our first polar vortex… it got down to about 60 at night. We all had to put on JEANS. Some of us wore SOCKS. Oh, the horror!