Ebinger's Aguinaldos examines Spanish Christmas customs

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By Carol A. Clark

Virginia (Ginny) Nylander Ebinger has authored a new book about Christmas customs, food and music of the 19 Spanish speaking countries in the Americas as well as those of New Mexico called “Aguinaldos.”

“It’s a big pretty book for Christmas,” said the longtime Los Alamos music teacher. “I started writing a small piece about little known Christmas music, then began writing about the Spanish speaking countries in the Americas and it just grew to include customs and food.”

Ebinger spent three years writing her 280-page, well-researched book, which details a wealth of Christmas music, much of it unknown to North Americans, with tunes and guitar chords, words and translations.

The book also contains recipes from each country for holiday foods, ranging from simple beverages to complex tamales and desserts. Customs and traditions from each of the countries in the book include some common to all, others specific to place, with all reflecting the joys of Christmas.

Ebinger moved to Los Alamos in 1954 from Tucumcari.

“I was a young teacher looking for a job and Los Alamos seemed like a nice place to be,” she said.

Ebinger met her future husband Gene Ebinger here. He had moved from Minnesota to Los Alamos following his service in the Army.

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