Santa delivers through sleet and snow, through ice and fog, and yes….through sun and palms! As I awoke on a very quiet Christmas morn, seeing that all of Puerto Vallarta had obviously not been pacing themselves through the previous twelve days of Christmas, I realized that “recovery” period had been slated for today. The waves rolled in, creating the only action in the sleepy town on this Christmas Day, so I began my stroll on the Malecon to find some action.

The pigeons seemed to be the only ones celebrating the day. They all took flight as I approached, leaving behind crumbs dropped by revelers the night before. As they ascended to the “crown’ of the Our lady of Guadalupe Cathedral, I noticed a local street merchant preparing for a fruitful retail day.

Complete with his portable stand, all his merchandise attached to his “tree” of dowels, the humble little man marked his territory with a white tarp. The location seemed to have been established many times over.  He went through his setup, as if it had been done many times before.

Brightly colored toys, balloons, and mini piñatas, blew in the gentle morning ocean breeze, drawing attention as they fluttered in the wind. He further tethered the loose ends down as to not loose them to the sea. He began to bark out his sales pitch as the city came to life. Children of all ages were drawn to the kaleidoscope of imagery and quickly made their way to the vendor.

Pesos were exchanged, and the faces of the children lit up like a Christmas tree. The children squealed as they began to play with their new toys, using the wind to aid in their fun.  Alas, Santa had found his way through the sun and sand, like clock work, bringing joy to the faces of the children of the once tiny fishing village by the sea.

Feliz Navidad.

-Malcolm Farley

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