Once a group came to the house on a cold night - candles in hand and puffy jackets keeping the Mary and Joseph re-enactors warm. Standing on our porch they sang verses asking shelter and we in the house responded with verses initially denying them entrance, and then like a relenting adult, bid them welcome in song with a verse that shares an "Oh, I didn't recognize you" sentiment.
In they came and after prayers were recited we enjoyed hot chocolate and popcorn. Originally we had planned on having pan dulce, and had bought enough to feed the 15 max we were expecting. We switched to popcorn when we saw the size of the group; I counted 56 people in our living room.
There have been many others that I've planned and/or attended but none have been like last night's posada. Yes, there was re-enactment of the Journey to Bethlehem, and traditional foods like tamales and champurrado were served - in the hundreds. Food donations came from local bakeries, restaurants, and taquerias. There were raffles for gifts that were donated by Pasadena Firefighters and Pasadena Police, as well as the office of Vice Mayor Victor Gordo. This was followed by the folklorico dancers of Grupo Sol y Luna. And the event was hosted in the Avalon Funeral Home and Cremation.
Perhaps this seems odd, but in a way it all makes sense. The story of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem is filled with unexpected elements . In many tellings of the tale performances abound, gifts are given, and a place where you wouldn't expect royalty are involved. Last night a place that is usually involved with last memories was a place whose walls resounded with the sights and sounds of many expressions of life and love.