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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Christmas in Yelapa, Mexico

While we did miss doing our normal Christmas traditions at home, we also really enjoyed observing Christmas in another country. (Plus, we asked Santa to do us a favor and drop off the gifts once we arrived back home, so we still celebrated our Christmas – just slightly delayed.) In Mexico, the big celebration for Christmas is on Christmas Eve. We went for dinner at Pollo Bollo then had a post dinner walk around town with the mission to find Christmas lights!

On our walk we observed that several of the businesses, including some restaurants, were closed early that night. There was also only one iglesia (church) in the town and it was near our casa. During our stay over the 7 days, Christmas Eve was the only day that we heard the church bells ring. We walked by and could see that the Christmas Eve church service was in progress, but it was hard to see inside. There was definitely a festive atmosphere in the air. People were dressed up in their best, they were preparing for the parties at their homes and people started gathering to celebrate. Several of the houses also had Christmas trees outside, and in Hispanic tradition, right under or next to their Christmas tree they had the nativity set. Clara & Connor pointed out that baby Jesus was missing from the manger, but the families would add him on Christmas morning as part of the tradition.

They even broadcasted music across the town from the old Casino converted into a town hall. Initially we thought this was a festive ambiance, but changed our minds in the middle of the night when the music was still playing…ha ha! I went to bed at 11 p.m. and when I woke up briefly at 6 a.m. it was still going. We later found out that many of the townspeople go here to celebrate around midnight after their family celebrations and the party continues on until early Christmas morning.

After the church service we saw many families and friends start to gather on patios and in their homes. They celebrated with opening presents and other festivities. We overheard and saw a couple of groups swinging and breaking open their piñatas as part of their celebrations.

After looking for Christmas lights and observing the Christmas Eve atmosphere we headed back to the casa for our own Christmas Eve celebration, which including eating some of the Christmas cookies we brought with us. We even saw some fireworks firing off from the beach.

On Christmas Day, there were still businesses (grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) open but we did notice there were some restaurants and shops closed, as well as the beach wasn’t as full of hawkers, including the iguana men. The normal boats and ATVs that brought supplies into town also weren’t coming on Christmas Day.


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