Culture

11 Ways To Decorate You Holiday Table With Latino-Themed Decorations That Don’t Break The Bank

The holidays either bring out the worst in people or the very best. There’s the stress of finding the perfect gifts, planning and hosting parties, and the idea of traveling to visit family during the craziest time to travel.

If you keep in mind, however, that the holiday season is meant to be with loved ones and celebrate all of your blessings, then it will put everything in perspective. Besides, holiday stress can easily be fixed with some fine tequila.

If you’re hosting any holiday event this season and you’d like to spruce it up by doing away with the basic Christmas or New Year’s Eve decoration, you can easily glam it up in a Latino-themed style. Why Latino-themed? Because velas, piñatas, and Frida instantly make people happy.

Here are some ideas for your holiday table that will make your guests ooh and ahh, no doubt.

Use any Latin-brand can as a vase.

CREDIT: Pinterest

We already recycle cans and jars thanks to our abuelas teaching us to. Use those cans and create a unique table setting by adding an eclectic array of your favorite canned Latin goods and using them as vases. The table will instantly have a pop of color and your guests might feel some nostalgia seeing the various cans from their childhoods.

Papel picado as mistletoe.

CREDIT: Love and Cupcakes

Convert any typical holiday decor, like mistletoe, with colorful papel picado. You can hang them around, and also place them bunched together at the center of each table. It’s a colorful and unexpected way to change things up with just a little bit of effort.

Red hot chili wreaths and/or candle holders.

CREDIT: Wind and Weather

If you’re not interested in buying dozens upon dozens of red chili peppers to decorate, you can buy fake ones pretty easily. These might look like a little too much but everyone will remember the amazing way you used chili peppers for your holiday decor.

Ribbons and flowers in the colors of your flag.

CREDIT: Pinterest

Being Mexican makes this one super easy since the color scheme is the same but you can always add some ribbons to your poinsettias. Give your guests and familia a little something special with the colors of your family’s flag all over the place.

A sarape table cloth.

CREDIT: Pinterest

By replacing a random tablecloth with a sarape, you can quickly transform the vibe from a boring holiday party to a poppin’ fiesta. Simple. Cheap. Cultural.

Extra sarape material? Use it as stocking name cards.

CREDIT: Instagram

Cut a stocking pattern on cardboard or poster board and wrapping it with sarape material. Then write people’s names on the white portion, and bam! Instant name cards.

Create festive cornhusks for coasters, candle holders and/or wreaths.

CREDIT: Instagram

Click here for a YouTube tutorial that shows how to make these cute cornhusk decorations. Just remember to wrap your color ribbon as well. There is something so special about seeing handmade decorations.

Nacimiento centerpieces are guaranteed to please.

CREDIT: Instagram

This particular centerpiece may seem a little complicated but it’s just an example of how to craft any sort of arrangement. This nacimiento can easily be recreated at your local Color Me Mine. You can also get an inexpensive basket and put your nativity scene inside and place them as centerpieces, this way people can take them home!

Concha coasters or ornaments.

CREDIT: Instagram

These conchas, made out of felt (which you can get at your local craft store), can be created to use as coasters! For an extra flair use glitter to make them more festive.

A bottle of tequila, a couple of poinsettias, and a sarape runner.

CREDIT: Instagram

This table setting looks stunning and can be easily replicated. Aside from the bottle of tequila, which you’ll need anyway, and the poinsettias, you can add your favorite Latin candy, candles, and a Latin-themed runner.

La Virgen de Guadalupe velas and mini-candles.

CREDIT: Instagram

The table setting above may look like it’s ready to celebrate Day of the Dead, but it can certainly work for the holidays. All you have to do is replace the orange flowers, with red roses, or poinsettias. Then adorn the center of the table with Virgen de Guadalupe velas that you can get at the grocery store or just click here.

Good luck, and happy holidays!


READ: Texas Family Puts On Holiday Show With 100,000 Lights And Music By Selena And ‘Coco’

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New York Times Square New Years Eve Celebration Canceled

Culture

New York Times Square New Years Eve Celebration Canceled

Stefano / Flickr

For the first time in 114 years, the Times Square New Years Eve party has been canceled. The famous New Year’s Eve gathering is a major part of the New Year’s Eve celebration with people cramming into Times Square to watch the ball drop to mark the new year. This year, everything about the celebration is changing because of Covid.

New Year’s Eve in Times Square has been canceled.

The in-person celebration with crowds packing into the intersection to watch the ball drop is going virtual. Like the Emmys earlier this month, and countless other events, the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration is all virtual. The decision to cancel the in-person part of the Times Square Ball Drop is, well, Covid, of course.

“One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on December 31st,” Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said in a statement. “But this year there will be significantly new and enhanced virtual, visual and digital offerings to complement whatever limited live entertainment or experiences – still in development — will take place in Times Square. And because any opportunity to be live in Times Square will be pre-determined and extremely limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be the opportunity to participate virtually wherever you are.”

We still don’t have a lot of details about the virtual aspect of New Year’s Eve, we are all waiting.

According to a statement, the organizers realize that Covid has been the dominating force of 2020. The celebration always includes aspects of the major events from the previous year into the experience. The socially distanced handful of honorees and lack of an audience is a clear representation of the still real Covid crisis.

Some people are really upset about the decision to cancel the celebration.

It is one of those iconic moments so many people dream of doing. It is a once-in-a-lifetime moment for so many. The Times Square Ball Drop is something that most Americans recognize thanks to the dominant role the ball drop played on New Year’s Eve growing up. It is basically tradition to have the NYE party playing on the TV.

New Yorkers are confused about why anyone would want to do that.

New Yorkers avoid Times Square at all costs. It isn’t a convenient or super enjoyable part of town. It is packed with tourists who don’t know where they are going and NYE is about the worst it gets for Times Square. Now, the ball drop is impressive and something so many people consider an iconic moment in the holiday celebration.

“We will miss everyone this year but we will bring our celebration to you, whether you want to turn off and turn away from the bad news of 2020, or turn to the new year with a sense of hope, renewal and resolution, you’ll be able to join us virtually like never before as part of the Times Square 2021 celebration,” Jeff Straus, President of Countdown Entertainment, said in a statement.

But, mainly, people just want 2020 to be over.

This year has been a hard year for so many. People have lost their jobs and their loved ones as the virus runs through the U.S. Covid-19 is still a real threat to people, especially the vulnerable population.

READ: Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

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From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

Culture

From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

josie_delights / guatemala / Instagram

Updated on May 13, 2020, originally published on November 20, 2019.

Sure, it’s summertime but there’s nothing wrong with tapping into the holiday season for some good o’l comfort food. Especially these days. Latinos don’t settle for just one dessert option, we have plenty to choose from and you best believe a few tías will bring different ones. From pastel de tres leches to churros and all the drinks that go with them, there are some wonderful treats in store. Yes, more often than not, a good cafecito will pair up perfectly with your postre, but how about a Mexican ponche? Or a Guatemalan Atol? We rounded up our fave cold-weather desserts for the summer that every Latino should whip up for quarantine!

1. Alfajores

Credit: nosjuntapaula / Instagram

These soft, delicate and buttery cookies are held together by the addicting caramel sauce, an elixir of the gods; dulce de leche. This option goes perfectly with a good old cafecito and chisme. That sobremesa is sure to get lit with all that sugar pumping up the tías and abuelitas. 

2. Arroz con leche

Credit: aliceesmeralda / Instagram

A foolproof winter classic. Arroz con leche is the ultimate Latino comfort dessert any time of year tbh. Try it calientito with a good amount of cinnamon and raisins. Provecho!

3. Buñuelos —Colombianos and Mexicanos

Credit: nachoecia / Instagram

The Colombian iteration isn’t quite a sweet treat as it’s filled with cheese, but the addition of brown sugar, butter and tapioca make it a dessert in our book. As for the Mexican version, they’re usually made during the winter holidays. Mexican Buñuelos are made of fried dough, covered in cinnamon sugar and if you’re not about fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar, idk what to tell you, there’s something wrong going on.  

4. Chocoflan

Credit: dolchecakes / Instagram

Also known in Mexico as ‘Impossible Cake’, this delicious mass of goodness combines two great things into one god-sent hybrid. If you love flan, but would also like to have a slice of chocolate cake, Latina moms everywhere say; “¿Por qué no los dos?” The rich dense chocolate, topped with creamy vanilla flan, drizzled with a thick layer of cajeta is, quite literally, what dessert dreams are made of. 

5. Churros

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There’s something so satisfying when biting into a warm, doughy, crunchy and sugary churro. You can find these delicious treats all over Latin America, and they’re particularly yummy when paired with a cup of hot chocolate! Extra points if you stuff them with cajeta or chocolate. 

6. Flan

Credit: silvanacocinando / Instagram

Almost every Latin American household will have its own version of flan. From Puerto Rico to Costa Rica and everywhere in between, Latinos love flan. The creamy vanilla-flavored concoction is basically irresistible. 

7. Natilla Colombiana

Credit: josie_delights / Instagram

This Colombian custard dessert is very traditional during Christmas, but we like to think that it’s also good at any time of the year. Natilla is a rich, custard-like dessert traditionally served alongside the deep-fried cheese buñuelos we told you about earlier. You’ll definitely have to forget about la dieta if you want to have this option. 

8. Suspiro de Limeña

Credit: rodolfo1913 / Instagram

Its name literally translates to “Sigh of the lady from Lima.” This Peruvian dessert is definitely sigh-inducing. The creamy, caramel-like custard, topped with a Port flavored meringue is an extra sweet treat for this cold season. The dessert originated in the city of Lima, and it is said that it gained its name after a poet said it tasted soft and sweet, like the sigh of a woman.

9. Pastel de Tres leches 

Credit: tallerdenoemi / Instagrm

This quintessentially Latino cake is made with three types of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk. This is definitely not for the lactose intolerant. The cake soaks up all these liquids, making it a super decadent treat. If you’ve never had this traditional Latino dessert, prepared to be delighted, and have the coffee pot a-ready. 

10. Ponche Navideño

Credit: mexicoinmykitchen / Instagram

Traditional Mexican fruit punch is a hot, delicious concoction. Made with more than ten fruits including apple, tamarind, jamaica, tejocotes, raisins. This punch is spiced with cinnamon, clove, and piloncillo. It’s basically Christmas in a cup.

11. Camotes en dulce 

Credit: aprilxcruz / Instagram

Mexican candied sweet potatoes are a must. Día de los Muertos, on Nov. 1, marks the beginning of Camote season. ‘Camotes Enmielados’ is made of sweet potatoes, simmered in a cinnamon and piloncillo syrup. This dish makes for the perfect fall treat. 

12. Guatemalan Atol

Credit: guatemala / Instagram

Made of ground corn, the flavors of this drink range from cinnamon to black beans to chocolate to cajeta. Guatemalan Atol, or Atole in Mexico, is a drink made differently in many countries of Latin America, but there’s one thing that remains the same everywhere, and that is that it’s a fall-winter staple you can’t miss out on.

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