With Christmas fast approaching, many people living in the Riviera Maya will be stringing lights around their palm trees and playing in the sand instead of the snow. Even though Christmas trees and wreaths can be found at every supermarket, the best way to celebrate Christmas in Mexico is by giving in to the fun and fascinating local tradition of a "posada".


A posada is essentially a Mexican Christmas party held in the month of December. The posada has a strong historic background in Latin America and even a variety of creative traditions like singing house-to-house and breaking a star-shaped piñata. In the Riviera Maya, however, many of the older Mexican posada traditions are often overlooked so locals can enjoy a more casual party.

Typically, every office and group of friends will celebrate their own posada in the weeks leading up to Christmas. For example, this year I've been invited to separate posadas for my office department, the company I work for, my husband's high school buddies, my expat acquaintances and our college friends. It's going to be a busy month!

There aren't many rules for hosting a posada in Mexico. I've attended posadas ranging from a laid-back coffee house get-together to a crazy night at the club, or even an elegant dinner at an upscale resort. I can even say I've won company raffles, fried my own potato wedges, grilled outdoors and broken piñatas at a variety of Riviera Maya posada parties over the years.

Posadas are a great way to make meet new people, and the perfect excuse to hang out with old friends! If you've recently moved to Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya, invite your neighbors over to your house for a posada complete with tacos, games and traditional Mexican "ponche" to drink.


And don't forget the piñata.




Laura Winfree

Originally from Virginia, Laura Winfree moved south of the border in 2005 to major in tourism at La Salle University Cancun. Today, she works as a copy writer for a local travel agency in addition to freelance blogging, writing and translating. Laura writes about her life as an expat in Mexico at http://gringationcancun.com and http://www.facebook.com/gringationcancun. Nightclubs and weekly beach trips are her favorite part of living in Cancun!