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Mexican Seasonal Greetings and Customs

For the majority of Mexicans, Christmas is an important religious holiday. The birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated with a display of delightful traditions.

Feliz Navidad (Happy Christmas) and Prospero Año Nuevo (Prosperous New Year) are expressions that are used freely and sincerely at every possible opportunity throughout the festive season.

Two weeks prior to Christmas all educational institutions, government offices and organizations connected to government close their doors until the New Year. Time is spent with immediate family, visiting relatives and old friends, enjoying traditional food and participating in the many activities of the season.

Business organizations take advantage of the season festivities to solidify relationships at all levels of the hierarchy. In addition to giving annual bonuses, most employers give workers Christmas baskets filled with the basic ingredients for Christmas Eve dinner, including the turkey. Administrative and executive staff often receive a basket with slightly different contents.

On a personal level, it is also a time for appropriate gift giving to secretaries and administrative staff inside and outside of your own organization to show your appreciation of services rendered throughout the entire year. A personalized approach is best: Take the time to hand- write a note on the card accompanying a gift or on a Christmas Card. You should mention the positive aspects of the person's character, special efforts or actions rendered, and express positive wishes for the coming year.

By doing this you convey your high esteem for the individual and reinforce that their contributions were valuable. Choose your words carefully as your note will probably be shown to family members, relatives, friends, and perhaps even be displayed in a prominent place in the person's home. Office parties are commonly arranged for the last day before the vacations begin.

Colleagues and counterparts at the executive level should also not be forgotten but again, attention should be attempted more on a personal basis rather than in an "office get-together, thanks a lot all of you" atmosphere. Individual invitations to breakfast, lunch or dinner to spend "non-business time" together are well received. Conversation about planned festive activities are very appropriate and would flow around the traditional festivities.


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