I’ve had Christmases in Ireland, China and Mexico, and out of all of them, Christmas day in China was the worst. Bar one, where we were both off work and we spent the day eating christmas pudding and opening Christmas presents which my Mum sent me, drinking beer and watching Christmas films on my laptop in our freezing apartment. That was a very special Christmas day for us and I really enjoyed it. The others weren’t very good, with one of us/ or both of us working. (They don’t celebrate Christmas in China).
Of course I LOVE this time of year at home in Ireland. I love my Mums cooking; roast potatoes, roast beef, veg, stuffing, gravy….. oh I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Then we would usually have pavlova (my Dad’s favourite dessert) and an Irish coffee in the evening. The fire would be blazing, the christmas lights all on, and I just really love Christmas time at home.
But this time I’m not celebrating Christmas at home. I’m in Mexico, and the weather itself makes me not think that it’s Christmas time at all! The weather is a balmy 23 degrees, with around 14/15 degrees at night. So not exactly freezing weather!
My husbands family don’t celebrate Christmas either, so the lack of a tree and lights at home also makes me doubt the time of year!
So, let me explain to you the differences between a Christmas in Mexico and Ireland.
In Ireland, usually Christmas eve is busy; we are wrapping the last of the presents, maybe running to the shops to buy that one last gift, and preparing the feast for the next day. Many religious families will go to midnight mass. This is usually in the late evening and not midnight as it suggests.
Christmas day we usually wake and open our presents. Religious families will usually go to mass first and then come home to open their presents. My family aren’t religious anymore so we don’t go to mass.
Then at around 1-3pm we have our big Christmas dinner, dessert and then for the remainder of the day we just laze about, eat crap, drink Irish coffees and watch Christmas films on tv. This is my families routine so maybe other Irish families may differ!
Every shop is closed on Christmas day…. even the airports! You will rarely see anyone on the streets, as everyone will be indoors with their families. (plus it’s too cold to be outside)
So, Mexico now!
From what I’ve gathered, Christmas Eve is when people have their big dinner. Usually it will be later on in the evening, with fireworks being heard outside. The gifts are usually opened after the big dinner, and usually after 12AM, because it’s now Christmas day.
Then, Christmas day is rather strange. I saw that a few shops/ restaurants were open, with employees chatting to each other because there’s nobody actually dining in their restaurants. I noticed that there were a lot more cars than I expected. Why are there people out? Are they not inside with their families celebrating and spending time together?
I prefer the way it’s celebrated in Ireland more, I feel like in Mexico they only celebrate it at night and only for a few hours, and during the daytime it’s just sort of like a normal day, whereas on the 25th in Ireland, that whole day is dedicated to just being with family.
Maybe next year we will celebrate in Ireland!