Rob’s Ramblings: A Gringo’s Look at a Mexican Christmas

“News flash for shoppers: Being stuck in Boxing Day traffic is not an Emergency.”

No. This is not a joke. This was actually part of a news clip on Global BC news December 27th about some drivers’ perceptions on what constitutes an “Emergency” up-north. Emergency 911 dispatchers were swamped in Burnaby, BC on December 26th with numerous calls asking them to head to the mall parking lot, lights and sirens blazing, to sort mall parking lot traffic. Hard to believe, isn’t it? For those in Mexico, or those from the USA, Boxing Day is December 26, and is considered a bargain shopping day in Canada. So, you left home to head to the mall, along with too many other people, and somehow that decision became an Emergency? Let’s just say I’m happy to be away from this level of thinking found on northern roads.

The line-up of buses in Guayabitos, plugging narrow roads, and people parking in “No Parking Zones” can be very frustrating. Local Transito police don’t seem to bother with these violators. Personally, I try to leave the truck parked and I get around town on my bike for groceries and other supplies. With our local climate, I don’t even think about packing rain-gear or checking a weather forecast for the day. I dare you to try that with the current weather up-north at this time of year!

Over the past few years, I’ve had many friends and family from up-north ask about the differences, and similarities, of a Mexican Christmas compared to a Christmas up-north. The colour and tradition starts with the posada the week prior to Christmas. This slow walk through town by costumed children is a re-creation of the Biblical trek of Mary and Joseph looking for a room, though today those on posada see candy and other donations.

Visiting the La Peñita RV Park on Christmas Eve, many Mexican families arrive to celebrate a week or two on the beach with friends and families. Tradition involves Christmas Caroling, alternating songs in Spanish and English, followed with the traditional piñatas, where young and old, Mexican and gringos, alternate at a chance of bringing down the piñatas. Usually, a few luminaries are lit and launched. Quite often, Mexican families encourage you to drop by to try a few favorite Mexican dishes. Sure, I like a turkey dinner as well, though this is a time to try something different.

We have Telecable Mexican cable TV service at home here, and I now find Canadian TV programming prior to Christmas rather nauseating, with perpetual ads encouraging you to get out to the mall to exercise your bank card.

Sorry folks, I just don’t have any great desire to head up-north at this time of year.

About the Author: Rob Erickson, his wife Heather and their rescue cat Mayo, spend half the year living on Vancouver Island, BC. and the other half in the Jaltemba Bay area of Mexico, where they enjoy the warm weather and slower pace of life. Now that Rob has finished building their new house in La Peñita, he can be found mountain biking around the area, volunteering at the JBAR spay and neuter clinics and relaxing in his Mexican-style hammock.

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. If you want to join in the fun and share your stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to

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2 Reviews on “Rob’s Ramblings: A Gringo’s Look at a Mexican Christmas”

  1. :

    please tell rob Canadians are NOT gringos and never have been

    1. :

      Sorry to offed anyone with the generic term of "Gringos". Actually, if you listen to locals talk of most foreigners, no matter where they are from, the term is "Americanos". Whichever term you use will usually get your point across.

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