Friday, December 16

The Posada Adventure

Tonight I'm off to what you now know as New Mexico to help my dear friend Josefina Montoya celebrate Las Posadas.

Las Posadas (Spanish for "lodging" or "accommodation") is a nine-day celebration beginning Dec. 16 and ending Dec. 24 with origins in Spain, now celebrated in Mexico, Guatemala, and parts of the United States.

Last year my Big Sister got asked to be Maria at the very last minute when the original Maria got sick -  just like Josefina did in Josefina’s Surprise!

Josefina is a girl growing up in New Mexico in 1824. Ever since Mamá died, Josefina and her sisters have bravely met the challenges of the rancho without her. As they watch the new Americano traders arrive from the East, they struggle to hold on to the old ways their beloved mother taught them. Josefina dreams of becoming a healer like her Tía Magdalena. Hopeful and caring, she is the star of her story.

A few weeks before Christmas, Josefina and her sisters went into the village to help with holiday preparations. They took two bright ristras, or strings of red chiles, to Señora Sánchez to flavor her famous stew. In return, she gave the girls a special gift—a plump chicken nestled in a bentwood cage. The plucky little hen had already laid two tiny speckled eggs! 

Papá lit the way of the Las Posadas procession with a wooden lantern that had windows made from a mineral called mica. Ana carried a silver tray piled high with bizcochito cookies. You can bake real bizcochitos using the simple recipe included with the pretend cookies. Help Josefina make beautiful paper flowers called ramilletes to decorate the church altar for Christmas Eve—a complete ramillete kit is included.
Josefina saved her very best dress for the most blessed night of the year, la Noche Buena—Christmas Eve. Tía Dolores provided the elegant striped fabric. But Josefina chose the stylish pattern and sewed every stitch herself by hand! With it she wore ruffled pantalettes, white stockings, black slippers, and a fine lace mantilla, a veil held on with a fancy comb.

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