photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

In San Miguel de Allende, don we now our holiday apparel — and a fond farewell to Mr. Holiday, Colin Harnett

One thing San Miguel de Allende does well is dress up for the holidays.

Not just San Miguel. Every village, town, and city in the country brings out a million white lights, an enormous community tree, a life-size Nativity scene, and an infectious cheeriness that makes you glad to be living in Mexico.

Which I happen to do.

So here is a small collection of what is ahead in December.

Yesterday, the community tree (above) went up in the public square in front of the grandest year-round Christmas ornament of them all, the Parroquia de Arc Angel San Miguel.

Tuesday night, the Rosewood Hotel lit its outsized wicker-basket ornaments to magical effect. The hotel’s entrance is a bath of white fairy lights framing a tall Christmas pine drenched in white.

Always a sign that the holidays are among us, Rose Alcantara set out her Nutcracker collection, inspired by the ballet that she probably danced at least as many times as we have Nutcrackers arrayed about our home.

Chabad San Miguel has lit the community menorah in the stately gazebo of Parque Juarez and the eight candles will all be lit on the evening of Sunday, Dec. 5, the end of the Chanukah celebration.

The big box stores decked their walls with holiday gifts well before Dia de Los Muertos. At least in October, supply chain issues didn’t seem a problem here in San Miguel. Shelves overflow with dolls and toys and brightly colored appliances, and holiday-appropriate exotic foods — the stuff you wouldn’t dream of eating any other time of year.

San Miguel does not yet have its primary Nativity scene up yet, and there are so many more be-decked houses and streets to visit. So, there are more pictures to come.

Meanwhile, may you find peace, joy, community, and magic where ever you might find yourself this season. And thank you for reading “Musings, Magic San Miguel and More!”

One final sad message:

Sad news for all of San Miguel.

At this time of year, we’ve come to look out for the incredible pink Volkswagen bedecked with holiday-themed stuffed dolls, knick-knacks, and whatnots that toddled around town, putting a smile on the grumpiest of faces.

Christmas music would blare from the sound system, and a waving hand attached to a white-bearded elf with an infectuous smile would jut and sway from the driver’s music.

That man, the genius behind the joys of so many, Colin Harnett, passed away this week at home after a costly hospitalization. Colin was such a springboard to happy hearts — not just his extraordinarily decorated Volkswagon but his unfailingly warm and welcoming personality. You just felt that he WANTED to meet you, every time you met.

On his calling card, Colin Harnett proudly called himself “El señor del Vocho Rosa” — though lately you could barely see the pink Volkswagen beneath all the stuffed animals! And sometimes I feared it was so top-heavy that it would all topple over while rounding a corner!

His motto is one we embrace here in San Miguel in the most creative ways: “Loco todos los dias.”

Colin was a crazy genius, in the best ways imaginable. Along with his partner in creativity, Martha Moncada. And he didn’t confine it to Christmas. He would change out his Vocho Rose canvas and music list with the holidays — Halloween, Easter, Spring, Mexican Independence Day. You never knew what was coming around the corner when Colin was behind the wheel of his beloved Vocho Rosa.

But he always left you with a smile.

If you can help his widow defray some of those costs, consider donating to her account, donations that will be used for medical bills.

Banamex #5256 7834 1766 2799

c/o Martha Moncada

Safe travels to your next great ride, Colin.

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