Central and South America, Mexico, San Miguel de Allende

Christmas Magic in San Miguel de Allende

Saturday was one of those magical days that we have learned to expect since being on the road.

When we began our travel journey, we greeted acts of genuine kindness and hospitality with suspicion. We were certain that perfect strangers never (or rarely, at best) invited another stranger into their home. Things like that just didn’t happen, at least not in real life.

But Saturday, it did. A women and her husband in our neighborhood once again proved our theory wrong.

We were walking up the hill to catch a bus into El Centro, downtown San Miguel de Allende. As we walked passed a beautiful home that we had passed many times before, Bev noticed a woman and her dog sitting on the front steps relaxing. She stopped to say hello to the dog. The woman greeted both of us with a smile and within minutes asked if we liked Christmas cookies. What an unexpected question. Naturally, it being the Saturday before Christmas, we assumed she had just made a batch and wanted to share. We were only somewhat correct.

Lorena invited us into this amazing home asking if we’d like tea. She took us through her living room to the dining room where she began to plate 10-12 varieties of Mexican Christmas Cookies. At the same time, Lorena introduced us to her husband, who was in the middle of eating his lunch. Hans (aka John) paid little attention to the disruption, stood and also greeted us warmly.

bev and lorraina
Bev and Lorena discussed world events, cookies, lifestyles, and culture as if they had been friends for years.

The four of us introduced ourselves as Lorena plated cookies. When the plate was full, we moved into the living room to further our discussions.

cookies and kresh
John being John, he couldn’t wait to dive into the deliciosas galletas.

The conversation got deeper and deeper about how we found people throughout our travels.

Lorena, quite the artist, is Mexican and has a degree in psychology.  Her art is throughout their home.

Lorena said she was having an argument with Frida Kahlo, painter and generally accepted as THE symbol for Mexican culture. We have not gotten to the nature of the argument and look forward to doing so.
Looming over the Living Room is a painting of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, at the center of life in San Miguel de Allende.
blue door
A simple but bold painting of a door, long known as a symbol of San Miguel de Allende Architecture and Design.

Hans is Swiss. He lived in the same village for 62 years, relocating to San Miguel de Allende eight years ago. A quiet but very thoughtful man, Hans stimulated our conversation with insights from a Europeans perspective.

rescue dog
It came as no surprise that Lorena and Hans rescued a street dog.

Our magical time with Lorena and Hans was too short. We agreed to get back together during our stay in San Miguel de Allende (yay, more galletas!)

We then took our bus into El Centro, to the Mercado Ignacio Ramirez for another magical moment.

Four years ago we spent five weeks in San Miguel de Allende. Every few days we went to “the Mercado” and purchased most of our vegetables and fruit from one lady — Dominga. So happy and friendly, Dominga always gave us an extra orange and went out of her way to find the perfect bananas for John. We wondered if she was still there.

Sure enough, Dominga was in the same place, had the same infectious smile, and gave us a couple of oranges.

As we waited for our return bus, the magic of Christmas in San Miguel de Allende was present.

tree of silver and red

Days like yesterday have become commonplace for us. We are certain this is because our travels have opened us up to allow magic all year round.

See you on the road and Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

Bev & John


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