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North Banderas Beat - December 17, 2022

We and our friends participate in holiday festivities so differently here than back home.

Although I still believe in Santa (ha ha), and have always been passionate about all that is Christmas - from baking to decorating and spending time with friends - I was simply much more crazed when celebrating in Canada. I say crazed as I always ended up overwhelmed. Around the bay it’s all about giving back and helping the less fortunate.

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That is the true meaning of Christmas, which leaves me ever more grateful year after year, realizing I don’t miss Christmas back home at all. However, I do miss family gatherings and we do celebrate with our like-minded family here and, yes, turkey and fixin’s are involved!

Christmas parties or posadas are in full swing, hampers for the less fortunate are being created and reservations are being made. Let the joyful season begin!

My friend Lisa has been working with our town administrator Carlos Camarena to create a magical Christmas in the plaza.  “After hurricane Roslyn passed through La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in an unprecedented fashion, the town spent the last two months cleaning debris, making sure water and sewage worked, and repairing our roads,” she told me. “Last week, our delegado discovered that all the decorations for the Christmas tree had been ruined when water entered the storage area. He put out a call to locals in La Cruz. Many people stepped forward to make sure the tree and the plaza would be decorated for the posada this year, donating lights, balls, gift wrapped boxes and anything to decorate a tree in the plaza.  The large pine tree was erected this week and soon everyone’s efforts will have paid off.”

Join everyone in the plaza this Saturday, December 17, 6:30 p.m. for the Christmas tree lighting, followed by the presentation of the creche and ornament placing, and the traditional Mexican posada celebration with piñatas and candies for the children.

Luna Lounge in Bucerias continues to serve the community with fabulous shows and tantalizing food. On both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day they’ll have a wonderful event with the delightful Brenda Gaviño and special guest doing a Christmas themed show with a full turkey dinner; tickets are on sale now. Luna Lounge is also having a Christmas sale, offering a 20-percent discount on all tickets for shows between now and December 30 when purchased in cash in their box office, open Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The discount also applies to trips on the Ada Sailboat between now and the new year, so there has never been a better time to visit both Luna Lounge and The Ada.

Masala restaurant in La Cruz continues to have music every Thursday and is celebrating Christmas Eve with a special dinner and a New Year’s Eve special too. Every day, chefs Rita and Julio stunningly prepare and present seafood fresh from the fish market. They’ll be closed on December 25 and January 1.

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I visited La Saranderia restaurant on Playa Manzanilla last week and was reminded what a special excursion from daily life that is. Beachside dining, digging toes into the sand, sipping a margarita while gentle waves lapped the shore, my friends and I devoured their namesake dish, Sarandeado fish. Decadent and fabulous. Owner Fer Galvez told me: “Sarandeado fish is traditional in our Nayarit province and my family has been using this recipe for 25 years. It’s delicious and we make it with regional spices.” They are open daily, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., only resting on Tuesdays. Enjoy happy hour Mondays and Wednesday, from 5 to 6 p.m.

The La Cruz Inn continues to make everyone feel at home with comfort food meals every day and rooftop music from 6 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, showcasing a variety of Mexican duos. They’ll be open both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day with limited restaurant hours, as they’ll be closing early. Don’t miss the dancing horses every Friday evening, 5 to 8 p.m.

The Riviera Marina Nayarit will have sushi classes at the marina Poolside Deli Saturday, December 17, 1 p.m. Friday, December 23, the Women Who Sail Gathering is at the Marina Bar & Grill at 3 p.m. Walk the docks for the holiday “5 Nights of Lights” contest. If you are on a boat in the marina or anchorage, get ready, there will be fun prizes for the best lights and decorations. Bring appetizers and drinks if you want to visit with the boaters. If you do judge, boaters will escort you to the docks. The contest runs from December 19 to 24, culminating with the announcement of the top three votes for boats being announced the day before Christmas.

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There are so many things happening at the Tree House Bar and Grill over the holidays, with the most important being the kids! Every year the community comes together to provide presents, which are wrapped for Santa Claus to hand out personally to children on Christmas Day. If you’d like to get involved with the giving or attend any of the events, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Enjoy concerts on December 17, with the dynamic fiddling of Diego Mondragón; and on December 19, the British Invasion entertains. Every Thursday, the Bay Roots has everyone dancing. A concert with Piel Canela is on December 26 and at the New Year’s Eve party a DJ be ringing in 2023!

Gift shopping is easy in the north bay; visit any of the artisan markets, the closest being the Wednesday market at La Comer parking lot in Bucerias or the Sunday market at Marina Riviera Nayarit. Or sit at any beach restaurant and support the vendors. Thursday nights, the Bucerias Art walk is an enjoyable place to buy for those you love.

Whatever Christmas and/or the holiday season is to you, may you enjoy and feel loved. May 2023 bring you an abundance of all good things.

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