This Christmas, Give These Holiday Movies A Chance To Bring Some Latino Pride Into Your Festivities

‘Tis the season to binge-watch holiday movies with your family over coquito to avoid political discourse, mi gente! Latinos are far from a Christmas classic movie complete with a game of longana, a Tía “Y El Novio?” Marta, and the beauty of how English-speaking American-born nietos and Spanish-speaking immigrant abuelitas always find ways to connect in love over a wide dearth of experiences. We need a movie that revolves around the traditions of Nochebuena and the ritualistic chagrin of how gringos take their trees down on Dec. 26 instead of Jan. 6 as is proper. Still, while we don’t have a mainstream, high-production movie that adequately expresses Latino culture or perspectives, we still have Christmas movies that feature Latino leads living in and navigating a White Christmas, or offer the novela version of a family navidad. 

Here are our tried and true favorite Latino-led Christmas movies.

1. “Nothing Like the Holidays” (2008)


This one is an oldie but a goodie. Featuring a Puerto Rican family living in Humboldt Park, Chicago, as they spend what would be a classic Nochebuena until threats of divorce are casually mentioned at the dinner table. Directed by Alfredo De Villa, the film features the largest Latino cast to date on a holiday movie with the likes of John Leguizamo, Luis Guzmán, Elizabeth Peña, Alfred Molina, Freddy Rodriguez, Melonie Diaz, Vanessa Ferlito, and Jay Hernandez. Plus, they threw in Debra Messing to play John Leguizamo’s character’s wife, who tries her best to fit in with the family. At one point during dinner, she asks, “Why is everyone fighting?” Leguizamo’s character responds by saying, “They’re not. They’re just conversating.” Welcome to a Puerto Rican Nochebuena. ????

2. “El Camino Christmas” (2017)


When did Christmas movies become action adventures? Netflix’s 2017 “El Camino Christmas” may not give you those warm holiday spirit fuzzies, but we get to bask in the glory of Jessica Alba and Emilio Rivera’s roles in a misunderstood liquor store hostage situation that does touch on the greater effects of miscommunication around the holidays. Jessica Alba essentially narrates the “Christmas Eve nightmare” where a man searching for his father gets mistakenly apprehended by police in what becomes an escalated situation. Claro, the bodega is owned by Latino Emilio Rivera.

3. “Christmas Bounty” (2013)


Francia Raisa stars in the ABC Family television film classic of a private school teacher gone bounty hunter. Raisa plays Tory, an elite school teacher engaged to be married around the holidays. Normal, right? Not quite. Turns out, Rory is a retired bounty hunter who is lured out of retirement for one last capture. While trying to maintain a sense of normalcy and keep her secret past under wraps from her fiance, Tory calls up her ex-boyfriend for help with the bounty. A Christmas classic!

4. “This Christmas” (2007)


“This Christmas” is probably the most realistic depiction of the holidays you’ll find on television, starring Afro-Latinos Laz Alonso and Lupe Ontiveros in an all-Black cast. The story revolves around the Whitfield family as they spend Christmas together for the first time in several years. A novela to end all novelas ensues, with Christmas cheating, the belt version of la chancla, and confessed hidden talents. If you’re looking for validation that yours isn’t the most dysfunctional of all the families, watch “This Christmas.”

5. “Santa Claus” (1959)


If you understand Spanish or don’t mind English dubbing, “Santa Claus” is a true Mexican classic. What starts out as a delightful look into Santa Claus’s North Pole toy workshop and his “all-seeing eye,” ends up becoming a battle between the devil himself and Santa Claus, with the fate of Christmas at stake. It’s basically the Mexican novela version of The Grinch Stole Christmas, except it’s a far more likely character: El Diablo.

6. “Holiday in Handcuffs” (2007)


Brace yourself for what, under scrutiny, is a problematic plot during which Melissa Joan Hart’s character kidnaps Mario Lopez’s character to pretend to be her boyfriend at a Christmas family gathering. Because sexually objectifying brown men is the perfect material for a rom-com. Mario Lopez’s character eventually suffers Stockholm Syndrome and falls in love with his captor, leaving his rich fiancé to be with her, months after the kidnapping. If you dissociate from how problematic the movie is, you’ll at least enjoy watching baby Mario Lopez.


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Mario Lopez Publicly Supports Former Co-Star Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ After ‘Heartbreaking’ Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis


Mario Lopez Publicly Supports Former Co-Star Dustin Diamond aka ‘Screech’ After ‘Heartbreaking’ Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis

Photo via mariolopezviva/Twitter

Mario Lopez is living proof that true old friends stick by your side–no matter what. The “Access Hollywood” co-host took to Twitter recently to voice his support of his friend and former “Saved By the Bell” co-star, Dustin Diamond after the tragic revelation of Diamond’s stage four cancer diagnosis.

“I connected with Dustin earlier this evening and although the news of his diagnosis is heartbreaking, we remain positive that he’ll overcome this,” wrote Lopez. “Praying for him & his family and for a speedy recovery.
God Bless”.

On Thursday, Dustin Diamond aka “Screech” was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer after he was admitted to the hospital for intense pain.

In addition to feeling pain all over his body, Diamond also allegedly discovered a “huge lump” on his throat. Although his representatives describe his condition as serious, he is reportedly undergoing chemotherapy and his friends and loved ones are hopeful for his recovery.

“We can confirm that Dustin does have cancer,” a representative for Diamond revealed to People. “It’s very serious, though we are still waiting for more details, which we will have shortly. He’s in a lot of pain.”

To Entertainment Weekly, his reps said: “By next week, we’ll have a much better understanding of the severity of his condition and what treatments he will need so that he’s comfortable.” They also added that Diamond was “fading in and out” when he was first admitted to the hospital.

Dustin Diamond and Mario Lopez have long had a complicated relationship.

In Mario Lopez’s 2014 book “Just Between Us,” he revealed that Diamond wasn’t exactly beloved by the rest of the cast. “Not everyone got along with Screech AKA Dustin Diamond. I did, but maybe I was the exception,” he wrote. “He was one of those dorky kids who thought it was hilarious to take Polaroids of his genitals and leave the photos all over the set.”

In Dustin Diamond’s 2009 tell-all book “Behind the Bell”, he painted a picture of negative experience on set. The youngest of the cast, Diamond often felt ostracized by the “in crowd” Bay City High’s hotter, older cast members.

After “Saved By the Bell” stopped filming, Dustin Diamond had a hard time getting back on his feet.

Diamond seemed to be embroiled in endless controversy, from reality show fights, to sex tapes, to bar-room brawls. In 2015, he was sentenced to four months in jail after stabbing a man during a bar fight.

He sat down for an interview with Mario Lopez for Extra in 2016 to set the record straight about his alleged bad body behavior. At that point, Diamond told Lopez that he had started a new chapter in his life.

“I want to put the tom foolery and malarkey behind me, you know? It’s time for that clean slate. Time for the change.”

Well, we hope Diamond gets better so he can fulfill his dreams of having a new lease on life. We’re glad his old friends are standing by him.

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Socially Distanced Navidad? Here Are the Best Family Games to Play Over Zoom


Socially Distanced Navidad? Here Are the Best Family Games to Play Over Zoom

Photo: Getty Images

This Christmas, unfortunately, is going to be tough for a lot of people. With the coronavirus pandemic still waging on, many of us have had to make the tough decision to stay home for the holidays. That means no traveling out of town or visiting extended family like we have in years past.

If you come from a family that likes to get into the competitive spirit and play games over the holidays, then giving up that tradition might feel too disappointing. Luckily, we can all rely on technology to keep us connected in these trying times when we’re forced to be apart.

We’ve compiled a list of Zoom-friendly games that you can play with your family over the holidays and beyond. Take a peak at our fun picks below!

1. Charades

This one’s an easy one. All you have to do is create a Zoom link, send it out to family members and pick a topic to act out. If you’re having trouble thinking of a word, trying using a Charades word generator.

2. Card Games

Who says a little old pandemic can keep us from playing cards with our loved ones? For many of us, playing cards with our family is as steadfast a holiday tradition as exchanging gifts is. Log on to https://playingcards.io/ to create a custom game room to share with your family.

3. Bingo

Think about it: Bingo is the perfect game to play over Zoom. Websites like https://myfreebingocards.com/virtual-bingo have virtual bingo games you can play for free with up to 30 participants!

4. Heads Up!

Heads Up! is a game in which a player has to guess which word/topic is on their phone screen by the clues their team members are giving them. In order to make the most of this game, players at each Zoom location will have to download the Heads Up! app on their phone. And after that, it’s smooth sailing.

5. All Bad Cards (aka Cards Against Humanity)

If you’re the type of family that likes to push the envelope over a game of Cards Against Humanity, consider logging onto https://allbad.cards/. All you have to do is generate a party room and send the link out to the members of your “party”. Then, you’re ready to go!

6. Pictionary

Pictionary is the kind of game that Zoom was practically invented for. In order to play this game, you’ll have to fire up Zoom’s whiteboard tool and share your screen with all of the participating players. Again, if you can’t think of a topic, get some help with a Pictionary random word generator.

7. Trivial Pursuit

You’ll have to own this classic board game in order to play over Zoom, but if you do, setting it up and playing is super easy. In order to make this game user-friendly for all participants, make sure there’s someone in your location that can play on the same team as someone in a different Zoom location. That way, all the players can be sure that there’s no cheating involved.

8. Outburst

If you’re a fan of Family Feud, then Outburst is probably right up your alley. This game requires that each player brainstorm lists off of a given topic (i.e. Top Ten Christmas songs). Unfortunately, there is no virtual or online version of the game, but instead, team members can take turns coming up with topics and having other players brainstorm lists.

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