Family celebrates 'Presentacion'

White dress suits got green grass-stained knees as the Perez brothers made a rite of passage Saturday.

In a tradition known as "La Presentacion," Miguel, 8, and Luis, 7, were honored by their parents in a church service and at a party with 100 family and friends at their 27th Street home.

La Presentacion is a custom in Lydia Perez's home state of Guerrero, Mexico. She described it as "the same as being baptized," and an occasion to recognize that the child is no longer a baby. The family has lived in Hood River for 12 years, and Perez has also hosted ceremonies for her older children, Angela, 13, and Gladys, 12.

Saturday was the brothers' turn. The day began with a service led by Father Ronald Maag at St. Mary's Catholic Church, blessing the boys and their gifts. Afterwards, Lydia Perez and her husband, Vincente Sedano, provided a large pastel, or celebration cake, and food and music at their home. The childen burst open pinatas and played other games.

"I want other people to start it and take part in the tradition, because it's like being closer to God," Perez said. She added that she felt proud because Luis and Miguel were enjoying it.

Indeed, both boys said they liked sharing the occasion with each other. They had felt nervous during church but were glad to have so many cousins and friends to play with.

"There'll be dancing," Luis said.

"It's a cool day," declared Miguel. "It shows me that my family really cares about me."

La Presentacion is normally done at age 3, but Gladys Perez explained why her mother waited a few years for Luis' and Miguel's:

"I didn't pay attention at mine, so she said she wanted to wait."

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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