Just when I thought my December calendar couldn’t possibly get more complicated, a phone call from the powers that be at the Guadalajara Reporter office delineating the early deadlines for the two upcoming holiday issues threw me right into a full-blown tizzy. I’m guessing that the news of these early deadlines will have a similar effect on the planners and reporters of local organizational, church and cultural events.
It It takes a fairly organized routine to produce a newspaper. Information about an upcoming event passes via email through several computers before it can be converted into a digital format that can be read by electronic presses and printed onto good, old fashioned paper. In a good week, the process fits almost neatly into the not-quite-regular working hours of the week.
The system works nearly perfectly 48 weeks of each year. Information in on Monday is converted to a printable format that the presses transform into a newspaper in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, just in time to be delivered to the sales points by midday.
Except, when like this year, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are on Fridays. Moving up the deadlines a day or so means that the production staff, press people and delivery guys can be home with their families for the celebrations.
Here’s the deadline schedule for Laguna Chapalac, Weekly Worship and Riberas Arts for the last weekend of December and the first weekend of January.
December 25-26 – Data must be received by noon on Sunday, December 20.
January 1-2 – Data must be received by noon on Sunday, December 27
I figure that if early deadlines are the rule of the day, then that probably means that I can also move up some other dates. In a country where eggnog is unknown beyond expat settlements, I’ve learned to substitute traditional ponche de navidad. The “real deal” recipe for Christmas punch is surprisingly labor intensive, packed as it is with dozens of chopped, diced and sliced fruits. In Mexican homes, a bevy of visiting sisters, cousins, and aunts make quick work of the process.
You’ll find ponche (hot fruit punch) served at a number of winter activities here at Lakeside. Made from an always varying selection of dried and seasonal fresh fruits, the common denominator through all the different recipes are the tejocotes (small red and yellow crabapple-like fruits), raisins and pieces of peeled sugar cane.
Stir up a hot drink that is almost as good, and much easier by starting by simmering a bag of dried ponche fruits (available in local stores) and cinnamon sticks in a quart of apple juice. Toss in a few bits of the fruit on hand and an ounce of tequila or rum.