32¢ Chili Pepper Wreath
Issue Date: October 15, 1998
City: Christmas, MI
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.3 x 11.7
In some areas of the United States, various ethnic groups observe the Christmas holiday much the same as their ancestors did. This is true in the southwestern area of the country, where Spanish customs are popular.
In the southwest, Christmas is a very festive and happy time of year. A crèche, or nativity scene, is often set up in the home. Once the crèche is on the table or mantel, it is time to prepare the holiday meal. It will include roast lamb or pork; baked red cabbage stuffed with fried onions and peppers; almond and milk soup; baked pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. Grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins all gather for the dinner, which is never eaten until after midnight on Christmas Eve. After the meal, the entire family sits around the Christmas tree to sing hymns and carols. The following morning, they attend church.
Children in the southwest are not visited by Santa Claus on Christmas morning. Instead, the three Wise Men leave gifts for them on the night of the sixth of January. Youngsters leave their shoes on porches, hoping they will wake to find them full of candy, fruit, and toys. Today, many of the holiday traditions popular in the southwest are like those other Americans enjoy. But people still celebrate the customs of their ancestors.