Tag Archives: christmas

Las Posadas – a thank you to the innkeepers of this world

Mision Mexico at christmas treeAll over the world we celebrate Christmas through rituals. As nations we celebrate Christmas through parades such as ‘Las Posadas’, the nine day celebration currently taking place in Mexico, carol services or nativity plays. What most of us cherish, however, are family rituals such as what time we wake up, what we eat, when we open our presents and whether we watch the queen’s speech of play charades. We take comfort in the repetition of words, songs, acts we learned from our parents and will pass down to our children. It creates a sense of continuity, of comfort and of safety. 

The effect of traditions and rituals

But why do traditions and rituals have such a powerful effect on us? Why do we travel miles to be with family? Why do we repeat the same thing each year instead of exploring new ways to celebrate the holiday? Because taking part in rituals allows us to reaffirm who we are and where our place is in our community, our nation and indeed in the world. We use them to understand our socio-political reality and then to project that reality onto a higher, mythological plane. This doesn’t necessarily mean a religious one. Whether we are religious or not, we often consider the greater questions of human existence at Christmas: love, hope, community, family and faith. It is basic human instinct to explore these eternal questions, and at Christmas we often do this through tradition. 

Mexican dance performance Christmas 2012

Las Posadas – the innkeeper

In Mexico, Las Posadas explore these deeper questions through a nameless biblical hero: the innkeeper. Indeed, posada means ‘shelter’ or ‘inn’. By recreating the story of when Mary and Joseph searched Bethlehem for shelter, and acting out the moment when the innkeeper allowed them to sleep in his stable when everyone else turned them away, they become part of the story, and therefore explore the notion of opening up your home to strangers, and showing love, kindness and charity even when it is inconvenient for you personally; it reminds them of what it means to be human.

All over the world are modern day innkeepers. Homeless charities, orphanages, foster parents, rehab centres, policemen, churches and individuals who open their doors to people everyone else has turned away. As we celebrate the Posadas this week at Misión México, we want to thank the innkeepers of this world for reminding us what it means to be human. We are immensely proud of Pam and Alan who open their home to children in Tapachula Mexico who have nowhere safe to go.

There are thousands of innkeepers all over the world; we would love to hear your story this Christmas.

Christmas fun at MM

Christmas shopping – love or loathe it?

Christmas 2As the infectious Christmas adverts herald the beginning of the festive season and we begin the count down to turkey dinners, mince pies and Christmas jumpers, the menacing face of Christmas shopping begins to haunt our dreams. Whether you love or loathe it, we all spend hours traipsing around shops looking for that perfect gift for our loved ones. Something that will reflect our love for them and bring them a little slice of joy. All too quickly, however, the opportunity Christmas presents us with to be generous to one another turns into an inconvenient tradition plagued by consumerism. We have that all too familiar moment when we ask ourselves “What do I buy someone who has everything?” For charitable organisations big and small all over the world, the question is often “What do you give to someone who has nothing?”

Indeed Christmas  is a vital time for charities to tap into the holiday’s giving spirit and raise vital funds to care for the most vulnerable in our societies. Hard hitting (often controversial) adverts burst the consumer Christmas bubble so carefully constructed by large corporations and force us to face uncomfortable truths about the world at a time when we want to face inwards to the comfort of our family and friends.

The best gift for Mision Mexico children: Education

At Misión México, Pam and Alan are confronted by the question: “What can we give our 50+ children who started out having almost nothing?” Rather than toys, chocolate and computer games (which would also be gratefully received this Christmas), they decided to put long term investment into their children’s education at the top of their list to Santa last year.

L. R Hector, Griselda, Victor, Lupita, Candy, Tere, Angelica, Yessica, Sammy and Marli

11 students from Miguel Hidalgo College. L to R. Hector, Griselda, Victor, Lupita, Candy, Tere, Angelica, Yessica, Sammy and Marli

Thanks to nine very generous sponsors last Christmas, nine of our children´s school fees and associated costs were covered. This included Katherine’s first year at medical school and Marli’s first year at kindergarten. Enrolling these children in education is the only way we can work towards breaking the poverty cycle and setting these children on the road to reaching their full potential. The immense power of education is well known and we hope one day that all our children will have full time sponsors so they may carry on their education and realise their dreams of becoming doctors, teachers, dancers, surfers.

Thanks you for those who gave a gift this year to Mision Mexico

So as you don your armour and head into labyrinth of your local shopping centre this week let us praise you for giving gifts this year. Let us also thank all of you who you who have generously donated to Misión México this year and indeed those who have responded to our Christmas Appeal already. Thank you to those who have spread the word, gone to our fundraiser events, sent cards, volunteered your time in the UK and/or Mexico visited our website and generally supported Pam and Alan raise a large family. All your gifts have been very gratefully received.


Thanks to her sponsor Katherine started her degree in Medicine having excelled at school. She is one step closer to realising her dream of becoming a doctor.

Marli School

Thanks to her sponsor Marli felt very proud putting on her school uniform for her first day of school.