Living & Lifestyle

Mexico Newsletter —
December 2022

Christmas & New Year in Mexico; Agreeable winter climates; Going to the movies in Mexico, Winter leisure tours; Living well through the dry season...

Mexico Letter Box

Your monthly Mexico newsletter is filled with inspiration, meaningful knowledge, helpful connections, and tips for better living, lifestyle, and leisure in Mexico.

December highlights in Mexico

The festivity period known colloquially as Guadalupe-Reyes begins on December 12th, Día de Guadalupe, and ends on January 6th, Dia de Los Reyes Magos.  This month’s newsletter helps you to learn about preparing for and enjoying Christmas and New Year festivities in Mexico.

Fall yields to winter starting around December 21st, and with the rain season now properly behind us, Mexico is entering the dry season.

Winter in Mexico is characterized by mostly dry and bright days with agreeable climates: warm and comfortable along the coasts and coastal plains; places situated inland at higher elevations enjoy warm sun-drenched days, with crisp or chilly early mornings and evenings.  The attractive climate is one of they key reasons many people choose to overwinter in Mexico each year.

December 21st is the ‘shortest’ day of the year, although as our article about Mexico’s long daylight hours describes, you’ll enjoy plenty of daylight throughout the winter and the quality of the light here is extraordinary.

The Monarch Butterflies overwinter in the mountains west of Mexico City, and now’s the time to make plans: Mid-January to late February is the ‘peak’ viewing season at the butterfly sanctuaries.  Learn about the butterflies and contact our travel associate if you’d like to arrange an excursion to one of the sanctuaries.

Two practical reminders worth highlighting—Mexican consulates abroad and immigration offices in Mexico close during the Christmas period, and December is also the month for paying the annual Aguinaldo to any domestic helpers you may hire.  This month’s newsletter shares more details.

Gardeners start to get busy keeping plants well watered this time of year as the rains have gone and groundwater near the surface evaporates.  The dust and dander also becomes noticeable from around mid-to-late December—a good time to stock up on tissues.  Our article about living well through the dry season shares practical advice.

As the year draws to a close, we’re busy preparing updates to our free eBooks for 2023, and we’ll also be updating key articles in January as new official data and other information become available throughout the first weeks of the New Year.

We wish you and your family a very cheerful Christmas holiday season and a New Year filled with joy and abundance.

Christmas in Mexico

The Christmas festivity period in Mexico, that runs from December 12th to January 6th, is characterized by traditions, color, spectacle, festivities and family gatherings that celebrate Christmas and usher-in a New Year.

Mexico’s Christmas Bonus, ‘el Aguinaldo’

Workers in Mexico look forward to their annual Christmas bonus payment, known as ‘el Aguinaldo,’ that is paid before December 20th each year.  If you hire any domestic staff (e.g. housekeeper, gardener) don’t forget to pay this bonus.

It’s also traditional to tip your regular helpers at Christmas, including the garbage/recycling collectors and any other service providers you use regularly throughout the year, e.g. gas and water delivery people.

Lake Chapala discovery program in February 2023

If you’ve been considering a move to the Lake Chapala region in Mexico, the Focus on Mexico team have announced additional dates for the 6-day “life at Lakeside” program that enables you to discover local lifestyle opportunities there and determine if the Lake Chapala area is right for your lifestyle intentions.  The next  program is running in February of 2023.

Immigration and residency updates

Christmas schedules at immigration offices: Immigration offices in Mexico will be closed from Monday December 19th, and will reopen on Monday, January 2nd. No immigration procedures will be accepted or processed after close of business on Friday December 16th.

Christmas schedules at consulates: Mexican consulates abroad are usually closed on December the 24th, 25th, and 31st—although they will also observe local holidays in addition to these days, for example, Boxing Day in the UK. (Christmas Eve & Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day fall on a weekend this year.)

Consulate appointments: A reminder that some Mexican consulates abroad are experiencing a very high demand for residency application appointments presently so we recommend you plan in advance, or be prepared to exercise patience while waiting for your interview appointment. Our associate can assist you with appointment scheduling in accordance with the policy and process in place at the consulate you apply at.

Financial Qualification Criteria for 2023

The values of Mexico’s Minimum Wage and UMA rise on January 1st each year, and these affect the financial criteria to qualify for residency in Mexico. By mid-January we will have a better idea of what the criteria will be in 2023 (and whether Mexican consulates abroad continue to use Minimum Wage or adopt UMA instead).

We will update the articles about financial criteria and UMA early in the new year with the latest information.

Key links to residency articles and guides

Here are some reminders of key matters in relation to visas and residency:

Immigration Assistance

When you need assistance with your residency permit application or renewals, regularization procedures, expired permits, or troubleshooting, consider using our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service.  If you already have your visa and need help exchanging that for a residency card in Mexico, our associate offers a visa-to-card exchange assistance assistance package.

Preparing for road trips in Mexico this winter

The fall and winter seasons are accompanied by a significant increase in vehicles crossing the border from the US into Mexico, as travelers take leisure journeys to escape the cooling temperatures in the north, and part-time residents return to Mexico to overwinter here.

Mexperience offers updates and links to resources that will help you to plan and enjoy your road trips across Mexico.  We recommend you get your Mexico auto insurance online before you travel using our partners, MexPro.

Get the insurance coverage you need to drive with peace of mind in Mexico

Your US or Canadian auto insurance policy will not cover you for third party liability when you’re driving in Mexico.  Mexperience is pleased to refer our readers to MexPro auto insurance, which offers comprehensive coverages valid in Mexico using English-language policies backed by a fully-licensed US insurance broker.  Get a quote online.

Finding your home in Mexico

When you’re looking for a home in Mexico, Mexperience offers a wide array of information resources and connections.

Complete guide to Living & Retirement in Mexico

Regardless of what stage you are at in your thinking and planning about a move to Mexico, our free eBook about Living & Retirement in Mexico helps you to make considered choices and informed decisions.  It’s packed with practical local knowledge that will enable you to map out a plan and turn your lifestyle aspirations into a living reality.  If you’re already in Mexico and are having trouble settling-in, there’s also a chapter to help you take a step back and reassess your situation.

Learning Spanish this fall and winter

As summer yields to fall, it’s good time to consider learning or improving your Spanish language skills.  If you’re arriving in Mexico to overwinter here, consider taking an online course in your spare time, or attending classes…

Mexico eBook Updates for 2023

As the year draws to a close, we’re making preparations to publish updated editions of our Mexico eBooks—all available free.  Our free eBooks offer the most complete and comprehensive local knowledge you’ll find anywhere online to help you consider, map-out, and realize your lifestyle plans in Mexico.

Plan your winter leisure tours

Whether you’re visiting Mexico for a short vacation or living here and seeking to discover more of the the country you’ve adopted as your home, a custom tour enables you to make the most of your leisure time and absorb the experience of the activity instead of grappling with the details and logistics.

Comprehensive knowledge for Mexico lifestyles

Whether you’re considering a move to Mexico, in the throes of moving here, and even if you’re already here and considering ways to reformulate your current situations, our Mexico lifestyle planning articles and eBooks provide invaluable help and local knowledge:

Sign-up to this newsletter and keep updated

If you’re not already subscribed to our Mexico Newsletter, sign-up now: it’s free and you’ll get an email each month with the latest round-up of news and opportunities.

Discovering more of Mexico

Mexperience offers extensive resources to help you discover, plan and realize your lifestyle and leisure experiences in Mexico.

Immigration and residency

Our extensive collection of articles and our free eBook, updated annually, help you to learn about what you need to acquire and maintain your legal residency in Mexico.

Immigration Assistance

When you need assistance with your residency permit application or renewals, regularization procedures, expired permits, or troubleshooting, consider using our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service.

Lifestyle planning

Our Mexico Lifestyle Planning section offers local knowledge, insights, inspiration, and ideas to help you consider choices and make your Mexico lifestyle plans.

Mexico home life

When you’ve made the move to Mexico, our Mexico Home Life section shares local knowledge, ideas, and inspiration to help you discover opportunities and settle-in well to your home and living spaces in Mexico.

Driving and road trips

Driving your own vehicle across Mexico’s extensive and well-developed road network provides an ideal way for you to explore these diverse lands and become acquainted with the local topography, the regions, the culture, and the local people in ways that no other means of transport can match.

Insurance coverages

A range of Mexico-related insurance services exist that can mitigate the effect and expense of unforeseen events and mishaps when you’re here.

Property and dwelling spaces

Our extensive articles and free eBooks share local insights and advice to help you find, settle-in and manage your home and dwelling spaces in Mexico.

Your leisure time

Whether you’re visiting Mexico or living here, there’s an abundance of travel and leisure options for you to explore and experience.

Mexico-US land border

Entering Mexico: Mexico does not require visitors to show proof of vaccination to enter the country.  Tourist permits (FMMs) and temporary import permits for vehicles (TIPs) are being issued as normal.

Entering the US from Mexico: The land border restrictions imposed by the US on visitors by land from Mexico, introduced in March 2020 due to Covid-19 have been lifted, but only for visitors who can show an approved vaccination certificate. US Citizens and US legal residents do not need to show this certificate. This article describes the reopening of the Mexico-US land border.

Spanish language study

Learning or improving your Spanish will enhance your experiences in Mexico, if you’re visiting, and especially if you’re living here.

Mexico Assistance Services

Connect to helpful Mexico Assistance Services that enable you to realize your Mexico plans.


  • When you need help applying for residency, or help renewing your existing residency permit (or working through a ‘regularization’ procedure after a mishap), consider using our Mexico Immigration Assistance Service, that offers detailed consultancy, personalized advice, and practical help through the process.








  • Our Mexico eBooks Library offers you a collection of carefully composed eBooks with helpful insights and local knowledge about Mexico—all titles are offered as free downloads.

Mexico in your inbox

Our free newsletter about Mexico brings you a monthly round-up of recently published stories and opportunities, as well as gems from our archives.