identities

11 Songs Latinos Play During Christmas Season

Christmas is a holiday that is celebrated in a multitude of ways throughout the world.  It is invaluable to keep traditions alive in all cultures.  While many Latino cultures celebrate the holidays in unique manners, they all carry the same message.  And, what could be more important in sharing those values than sharing in some great holiday music.

While there are some classic Spanish numbers that have become a necessity for anyone’s playlist, we decided it would be great to have a list of songs that can help you spread the Christmas cheer this winter.  So cozy up with the family, and get in the spirit of the season with these classics.

La Sonora Matancera w/ Celia Cruz – “Campanas de Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

This is a translated version of the all-time classic Jingle Bells.  Originally written in English in the 1800s, the theme is timeless.  There is a spirit of joy to the song that speaks on riding in a sleigh and listening to the bells ring through the snow.

What Makes it Great –

There are quite a number of translations for all sorts of Christmas carols.  However, this recording from a young Celia Cruz in 1958 has become a classic and adds a dancing feel to any Cuban Christmas.  One of the most popular holiday songs in the world deserved this peppy version.

Jenni Rivera – “Amarga Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

While it may not be as upbeat as most Christmas songs, Amarga Navidad is still a classic in its own right.  The theme is about a woman who is asking her partner to leave on Christmas Eve.  Though it may sound depressing, there is the idea of getting ready for a new year with a better life.

What Makes it Great –

Christmas can bring up many emotions, and Jenni Rivera’s bitter holiday ballad isn’t afraid to touch on some of the more difficult feelings.  Breaking the seasonal blues can be tough so a song that hits as hard as this can be therapeutic.

Luis Aguile – “Ven a Mi Casa Esta Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

Ven a mi casa Esta Navidad translates to English as “Come to my house this Christmas”.  The song does not speak to any one person in particular but is more of an open message that nobody should be alone on the holidays.  It is about opening your doors to anybody that could use a little company and a friend.

What Makes it Great –

Luis Aguile was more than just a singer and songwriter, he helped to define Latino culture for many of those in Central and Southern America.  Ven a Mi Casa Esta Navidad has become an anthem for the holidays and has been re-recorded by many popular artists throughout the years.

Juanes – “Mi Burrito Sabenero”

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What’s it About –

Burritos may be a standard staple in Mexican cuisine, however, that is not what this song is about.  Burrito actually means ‘little donkey’ and the lyrics are about a rider encouraging his donkey to make it to Bethlehem as fast as he can.

What Makes it Great –

The song has a few different titles and has been a staple for many generations in Latino culture.  However, the recording that Juanes performed in 2006 has quickly become one of the most popular.  There shouldn’t be any Latino Christmas playlist without this poppy rendition.

Felix Del Rosario – “Alegre Vengo”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

Alegre Vengo, or Happy to Come, is a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas carol.  In Puerto Rica, Christmas Eve is a big party and everyone rejoices in the holiday together.  So, this song is about the joy of bringing everyone together and the fun that it brings.

What Makes it Great –

Any song that has stood the test of time as this one has deserves to be recognized as a classic.  The recording that Felix Del Rosario made in the ’90s helped to bring the traditional song into a modern age and has been a winter anthem since.

Los Toribianitos – “Canta, Rie, Bebe”

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What’s It About –

Singing, laughing, and drinking.  This song is all about Christmas Eve when everybody should be having a great time.  And, what could be better for any Latino family than singing, laughing and drinking.

What Makes it Great –

This song has been an essential Christmas song in Spain for a long time.  It is these types of traditions that need to be cherished in an ever-changing society.  Being performed by a choir brings back the sense of community and spirit that this song is all about.

Willie Colon and Hector Lavoe – “La Murga”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

At first, La Murga may not seem like a Christmas song, which is because it is more connected with Carnival, which is still a part of the festive season.  This song is still a great salsa anthem all year round even for being almost 50 years old.

What Makes it Great –

Nobody will argue that La Murga has one of the greatest trombone openings of any song ever.  If you want a Latin song that you can dance to these holidays than look no further.  This is a classic that is still a solid jam for any playlist.

Pandora – “Los Peces en el Rio”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

Los Peces en el Rio is another traditional Spanish holiday carol.  This one is pretty heavy on the religious end, but if that is your thing then this is an important song that will probably take you back to childhood.

What Makes it Great –

If you want to make a traditional song even better, you let a pop band trio like Pandora make their own rendition.  The ’80s were a wild time for all music, but this Christmas song has stood the test of time.

Andrea Boccelli – “Navidad Blanca”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s it About –

Another traditionally English Christmas song, White Christmas was written by Bing Crosby in the 1950s.  It is about the purity and warmth of the holidays and spending it with the people that mean the most to you.

What Makes it Great –

Andrea Boccelli is famous for having a voice that could make any song great.  For him to take a classic song such as this and add his own flare was destined to be memorable.  If you want to feel that rich Christmas spirit then throw this song on.

Alejandro Sanz – “Noche de Luz”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

Noche de Luz, or Night of Light, is all about that warmth that we all feel the night of Christmas Eve.  This soulful song adds a depth to the holiday season that can bring you in touch with all of those richest feelings.

What Makes it Great –

The Spanish pop star Alejandro Sanz really lets it out with this Christmas song.  Adding a flare of Flamenco and being supported by backup singers and an orchestra, this is a full, well-rounded song for the season of joy.

José Feliciano – “Feliz Navidad”

Instagram @Christmas4you1

What’s It About –

Pure Christmas happiness and well wishes.  This is the Latino Christmas song to end all Latino Christmas songs.

What Makes it Great –

Well, it may just be one of the greatest Christmas songs written in any language.  First performed in 1970, people are singing this song in all corners of the world every holiday season.

Latinos Can Definitely Relate To All Of These PostSecrets Confessions

identities

Latinos Can Definitely Relate To All Of These PostSecrets Confessions

PostSecrets

In a world where we only see the filtered best moments of our friends lives on social media, PostSecret has thrived in filling an intimacy void in our society. For years, my Sunday paper has been refreshing PostSecret’s blog page, which incidentally is the most visited ad-free blog on the internet. In politics, in love, in life, it’s easy to feel like we don’t belong, especially as brown people raised with competing immigrant vs assimilation values.

Behold, all the PostSecrets that fill the identity void for Latinos. I don’t know if these are written by Latinos, but it sure does feel like they’re written for us. You may laugh and you may cry, but you’ll feel a little less alone after reading some of these secrets.

The use of Neymar in this secret is pretty spot on.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Neymar is one of the best (?) soccer players in the world right now but we can’t get the image of him flailing on the ground out of our heads. That’s what makes this secret so spot on.

This is for the grandparents out there who play every time.

CREDIT: PostSecret

For me, growing up Latino meant growing up very well aware of the weekly lottery draw and praying to Saint Anthony or whoever was on that altar in the closet for the miracle of winning the lotto. One of the saddest moments in a family gathering is realizing that everyone forgot to play the lottery.

Whose mami wrote this secret?

CREDIT: PostSecret

Catastrophizing may not be a uniquely Latinx experience, but it sure feels familiar. Our parents are alway the first to tell you about an accident or use the phrase “cuando me muere” when you aren’t doing everything to help her in that moment.

Admit it. We’ve all been a little judgmental of people we see in our day-to-day lives.

CREDIT: PostSecret

When I went to the mall with my mom cuando era niña, it wasn’t to shop. It was to get a cafecito and “people watch.” The shopping lists is just more evidence.

The truth of this secret is anyone’s guess.

CREDIT: PostSecret

I know. You’re thinking La Llorona, but other people are commenting on the Instagram post wondering if that middle schooler lied to their therapist.

An offering for the afterlife is really specific.

CREDIT: PostSecret

To be fair, other cultures and religions believe in an afterlife and honor those who have died with offerings and tributes. However, Mexican culture has an entire holiday dedicated to offering up things to the dead and this feels very Día de los Muertos.

We’ve all skipped a mass or two in our day.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Okay. Maybe you were the good one who never missed a mass when you were growing up. Most of us, however, were not the good Catholic children our parents wished for.

Low key, our family is always asking us about our weight.

CREDIT: PostSecret

But let’s get serious for a minute. We Latinas are bred to have body dysmorphia with the gordita one second, y ‘flaca coma más, que pasó contigo?’

On a serious note, it is hard to talk about mental health issues and therapy in a Latino family.

CREDIT: PostSecret

In the same vein, it can be so hard to talk to las madres about real feelings because in the moment, she’s like, “here, coma un poquito de chocolate, it’ll help” and later on she’s like, “I *always* knew.” We’re not looking for omnipotence. We’re looking for a moment that won’t become tea to spill to the comadres later.

We know how to be petty when we don’t want to talk to you.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Beating the piñata is just for show. The real fight is con palabras that shut down any semblance of power equality.

Everybody poops.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Eating two plantains a day is a lot of fiber for any one person to carry. We are not immune to the human body, but our disposition makes us very powerful in the skill of toilet-finding.

We are a pretty hairy demographic so this might be from one of us.

CREDIT: PostSecret

It is definitely something that many Latinas can relate to. How many times have you seen your mom and tías bleaching their upper lip hair?

Again, we are hairy and we should just own it.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Finally, someone broke the silence about nipple hair and I pray I’m not outing the even hairier Middle Eastern half of me to you, mi gente. Kudos to this person who finds joy in their body hair. 😂

Coffee is one of the hardest things for Latinos to kick.

CREDIT: PostSecret

So uniquely the sign of a Latinx here–from the Papyrus font choice to the expressive rage from los padres. Crucially, the attachment to Café Bustelo as the life force itself signals a full-bodied heritage fueled by caffeine. I feel that.

We hate to see people wasting things, especially when we want what they are wasting.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Watching someone just casually toss scraps of food into the garbage instead of straight up licking the plate is like nails on a chalkboard to me. We do not waste. It’s against my religion. A full blown car–that works–is cardinal level sinnery right there.

This is definitely a young Latino who still hasn’t learned their way around a kitchen.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Our abuelas never do anything out of the box. However, when you are young, busy and trying to save some dough, this is the best option.

How many times have you lied to get out of something you don’t want to do?

CREDIT: PostSecret

When the only excuse your abuelita will accept as a rejection of her food or Mexican candy is that you will *die*, you go with that. Because when you’re Latinx, ‘no gracias’ isn’t an acceptable boundary.

Fancy exercises are not our thing. We prefer fad diets.

CREDIT: PostSecret

Can’t you just imagine your abuelita repeating that word with a question mark tone, “pee-lah-tiz, ay que rico parece.” Yo tambien.

Lastly, we are the old-school Addams Family.

CREDIT: PostSecret

The Addams Family was family goals for all of us growing up because he was the first respectable Gomez on television. Now that some secrets are out in the open, we don’t care what you think. 😋 👋


READ: 7 Latina Celebrities Reveal Their Fitness Secrets

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