Over this week and next–and really, since the beginning of the month–everyone across the United States has engaged in Christmas food festivities, even if you're not a Christian. For us Mexicans, we have the best of both worlds: not only do we get to go to holiday parties, not only do we indulged in work potlucks, but we get to return home nearly every day to a gluttony that won't end until January because Jesus says so. From pozole to rompope to non-stop tamales, here are 10 food signs that show it's a Mexican Christmas.
10. You Become the Most Popular Person at Work
Because after a while, gabachos start tiring of casseroles, fried shit, fruit cake, and all the other things they buy at the store.
9. The Kids Wonder Why the Adults Drink Rompope
Throughout the year, one of these bad girls is stored at the back of a cabinet, never touched until December. At some point in the year, all boys climb up to grab it, take a taste of its viscous glories, and never drink it again.
8. Posadas Go Non-Stop…
Posadas are recreations of the journey Joseph and Mary took to Bethlehem, in which they were rejected again and again before reaching the magical manger. Most Mexican barrios host one type of posada or other daily in the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. While the actual journey doesn't involve food, the last house visited is expected to invite everyone in with a huge food feast.
7. …And the Bolo Rains!
Bolo is what happens when Mexican parents are too tired to stuff a piñata. After posadas, the host family usually hands out bags of goodies–usually peanuts with some candies, but sometimes even money. If there are any older cousins, they usually make the kids fight for the bolo by throwing it across the backyard–ah, familial hazing…
6. Rosca de Reyes Closes the Holiday Season
Better known to Americans as the king's cake served during Mardis Gras, rosca de reyes starts popping up in panaderías leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany, and only then. I find this pan dulce a bit too sugary for my liking, but finding the infant Christ hidden inside always leads to holiday merriment.
5. A Pot of Ponche Magically Appears…
Just one of the wonderful hot drinks that makes an appearance during Christmas, along with…
4. …Or Champurrado. Or Atole
These bad boys. Atole and champurrado are more of a cold-times drink; ponche, on the other hand, is almost exclusively served during Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
3. Buñuelos Start Piling Up
2. There's Unlimited Pozole
And, of course, without any debate: the #1 food tradition during Navidad…and if you don't already know this one, we suggest you move to wherever there ain't no Mexicans…
1. All the Females in Your Family Spend at Least One Day Making Tamales
And no one really thanks them for their indefatigable work.