Dispatches From Mexico City: It’s Christmastime Again!
Christmastime is cold in Mexico City.
When I tell people back home that it’s cold here, they rarely believe me. “At least you’re living in Mexico!” they’ll say. After all, to most Canadians, anything above 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) is a balmy day.
But what makes the cold tolerable Way Up North is that you can always go inside to get warm. Stockings are hung by the fireside for a reason, after all. But down here in Mexico inside is usually colder than outside because the concrete buildings are built without insulation or indoor heating. Most nights here I’m wrapped in sweaters and covered in blankets with a space heater quietly buzzing nearby, driving up my electricity bill.
On top of that is the extra pollution around this time of year thanks to the increase in traffic. One friend told me the traffic is so bad this time of year it hurts their teeth. I think I’m starting to feel a toothache myself.
But it’s Christmas, and the people of Mexico really dig into the holiday. That means that the extra traffic and cold weather become so entwined with the celebrations that it would seem strange without them.
The sidewalks around the markets are overflowing with makeshift stands selling ornaments, nativity scenes, Christmas piñatas, and trees. People are buying ponche – a hot Christmas punch – by the bowl-full and adorning their houses and apartments with lights and decorations that would make Clark Griswold envious.
It can be very frustrating, but if you manage to let go and just move with the flow it can be a very enjoyable time of year.
All the hustle and bustle builds to the glorious peace and quiet of Christmas day itself. It’s easily the least busy day you will find in this massive city as people spend the day with family and friends. It’s actually my favorite time to take the dog for a walk and explore the city.
All of that is to say, Christmastime in Mexico City might be cold but the excitement of the season is enough to warm your heart.
Ty Trumbull, from his base in Mexico City, covers the entrepreneur’s journey, M&A and business continuity for ChannelE2E. On the occasional Tuesday or so, he offers views about his adopted hometown — his personal Dispatches from Mexico City. Oh, but sometimes he pops up in his home nation of Canada.