Tipping during the Christmas season in México is common. It’s a first for me, except for my maid. Once I bought a home, I have some more people to tip during this holiday season.
I just tipped my garbage people. Never done that before. Another new thing to get used to as a full-time resident in México.
The custom is to tip your garbage people the pickup right before Christmas Eve.
I’ve only met them once when I first moved into my home here in Yucatán, México. After six years of renting places (almost 30 different places) I finally found the area I wanted to stay.
My wife asked a local expat group what the customary amount was. Many people said MX$200 per person. Our garbage team is two people. We tipped them each MX$700 because of our home renovation, it has been a crazy amount of trash fixing up the place.
They take away all household trash and lawn trimmings. We have quite a few palm trees that drop branches and coconuts a lot.
So, we thought a bigger tip was appropriate.
Trash pick with lawn trimmings is about US$40 a year, and we tipped each person (2 people) the same. So, the tips were twice as much as the service. Most expat tip about US$15 per person.
They hadn’t picked up our lawn trimmings in many weeks, but when they rang our doorbell to ask for their yearly tip, they were clearing away all our trash. Maybe the extra tip will have them do it a bit faster.
This coastal area in Yucatán, México on the Gulf of México has very busy seasons and very low seasons. In July and August, everyone comes to their beach home. And of course, spring break, Easter and Christmas.
The other times of the year, most of our beach neighbors are gone. They are all Mexican, and they go back to work in Mérida or México City. So, during high season, my local trash team can’t keep up with taking all the trash away. They prioritize the smelly stuff over the palm branches and coconuts.
Maid & Gardener
I also Christmas tipped my maid. I’ve done this with maids that I’ve consistently used in the past.
Likewise, I’ve had several depending on the rental, and we bought our home here on the Yucatán coast we had two maids before our current one. The first two didn’t work out for a weekly schedule, and one didn’t like the commute.
We asked some locals for someone nearby and she has worked out great. She comes twice a week, and we are pleased with her. So, we tipped her US$25 and gave her some candy gifts that we got from our favorite chocolate candy store in Mérida.
Our gardener comes once a month to pickup coconuts and branches, repot plants and move plants around. She’s very knowledgeable about what plants like in this tropical environment, so we ask her questions about that plant would do well in places.
She knows a local plant seller that will deliver many types of plants and flowers directly to our door, and we can decide in the street in front of our place and pick the ones we want. Better prices that going into the big city of Mérida as well.
Soon after my seizure, one of my doctors told me to get a regular massage as often as needed to help recover. And to have it at home because I wasn’t going to be able to function for a couple of hours after my massage.
We found a really great massage therapist, and it has helped a lot. After two hours of the world’s best massage ever, I pour myself on to my couch and watch a movie.
Because I see her every two weeks, I tipped her for Christmas about US$25.
I tip her after every massage session as well.
I can’t drive (due to my past gran mal seizure) and I live about an hour from the big city of Mérida, so I have to hire a driver to visit my doctors and personal shopping.
I like to use the same driver if at all possible. I schedule him out in advance.
Not only that, but I only go into the big city of Mérida about every 3 to 4 weeks. It depends on if I need a chiropractor adjustment.
Plus, I hire the same driver for fun outings visiting Maya pyramids and cenotes and weekend trips to Campeche. Valladolid and Playa del Carmen.
Because I use him so much, I tipped him US$25 for Christmas. I didn’t know what the guideline was in this case, so a nice new MX$500 bill seemed appropriate.
Mail isn’t a thing here in México. I have a mailbox and have yet to receive any mail. I’ve had some postcards sent here and I’ve never received them. None of my local bills are sent via mail as well. That is all done via email.
I only receive packages via DHL mostly, and I don’t even know a particular person who does that.
So, there is no tipping of mail or package delivery, which is common in other countries.
Tipping for people you use throughout the year is common here in México. I pay the going rate plus a bit more because I need people who are a little flexible with me due to my disability after my seizure.
I tip after every session, be it driving me around for the day or each cleaning or massage session.
But, I also tip my regulars for Christmas. It’s a common thing here in México.
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