Things That Matter

Here Is A List Of Christmas Gifts That Latinos Will Find Funny

Ah, Christmas, Nochebuena, Navidad…. the night of useless presents and crazy tías with their weird traditions. Life is full of mysteries and one of those just totally inexplicable things is why people keep gifting each other strange and useless things. But well, es Navidad y todo se vale, right?

1. A Guacardo Christmas Pin! GUACAMOLE!

This is absolutely cute and it yells I am Latino and love a cheesy Christmas. If you are dating a non-Latino give it to them to make them part of the familia!

2. Best flans pin pack…

The best gift for that mejor amiga who loves kitschy but fashionable gifts with a twist. Now we want abuela’s famous flan de cajeta.

3. Let’s be honest…. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS OTRO PLATO AND WE HAVE A SWEATER TO PROVE IT!

Oh, Christmas, a time for family, joy, and overeating!

4. A conchas sweatshirt…. cover those tetas, mija


The little mermaid has conchas de mar, but you can gift conchas de pan dulce. What a gift!

5. We are head over heels over this Guacardo Pom Pom Beanie

The ideal gift for that hipster primo who is proudly Latino but loves his avocado brunch at the precio moderado de un chingo.

6. No jodan aunties, I am better off alone. Mejor sola sweatshirt.  


For that independent young woman in the family who dreads Christmas because people don’t leave her alone asking her about galanes. This sweatshirt makes it loud and clear: don’t mess with me!

7. A San Marcos blanket

Credit: Digital image. HuffPost Mexico

We are sure you have seen one of these cobertores printed with wild animals and super ñero landscapes. We all had one as kids.

8. A six pack of Nochebuena beer

Credit: 1482108036_582789_1482109542_noticia_normal. Digital image. Verne El Pais

A classic Mexican holiday beer that doesn’t really taste that good, but everyone is afraid to admit that fact. Drinking one of these chelas is that the holiday spirit is all about.

9. An ugly abuelita sweater

Credit: Kitty-Puppy-Hay-Ride-Tacky-Cat-Lady-Ugly-Sweatshirt-Plus-Size. Digital image. The Ugly Sweater Shop

Thanks, but no thanks. Navidad sweaters tend to be conservative and super stuffy in all their polyester glory. Guácala.

10. Yet another tortilla container

Credit: s-l640. Digital image.eBay

Every Mexican-American household has a tortillero that sports some horrible flower pattern or an Aztec-themed adornito. One is enough, gracias por nada.

11. A kitsch as hell nacimiento 

Credit: 1c4c9bfc70419e086ce8a4c75cb4f477. Digital image. Pinterest

Ya, no más porfavor. Nativity scenes are big for Latinos and even though they won’t be used until the following year, if ever. Some of these nacimientos are ungodly in their ugliness (pun intended).

12. Baby Jesus clothes… yes, they are a thing

Credit: Divino-Nino-GalaVestido-Nino-DiosRopa-Nino-DiosBaby-Jesus. Digital image. PicClick

Nothing worse than the tías that gift each other weird Barbie-like clothes for their Niño Jesús. There are even versions with soccer jerseys.

13. DVD collections of telenovela classics…. there’s streaming you know…

Credit: Cuna de lobos , Cradle of Wolves Digital image. Bukalapak

Please, mamá, no one uses DVDs anymore and I can just stream Corazón Salvaje or Silvana Sin Lana!

14. A hideous bufanda badly knit by your aunt

Credit: Photo Oct 28, 3 26 38 PM. Digital image. Memoirs of an Old Soul.

Tía Cholita is terrible at knitting but in three decades of ugly and uneven scarfs no one has been brave enough to tell her.

15. Horrible Acapulco souvenirs made out of shells

Credit: 3-a-animals-e1402328730919. Digital image. Travel Blog

Everyone has a pariente who visits the motherland and buys horrible souvenirs but only gift them when it is time for the intercambio de Navidad. 

16. Fake Cuban cigars…. do not try at home!

Credit: cohiba-2-1024×768. Digital image.  Havana Times

Repeat after me: Cuban cigars are legal now, no need to gift those Cohiba wannabes that taste like an ashtray as soon as you light them.

17. Yet another rosario

Credit: 3d2b18b2d64b37dc8c139316fa2caa58. Digital image. Pinterest

No abuelita, praying doesn’t make me un buen muchacho.

18. Red chones to get you ready for New Year’s

Credit: h37-1459.pycc_heidi-klum-intimates_217_velvet-orchid-thong-brief_poppy-red-cafe-creme_ff.1531783963 . Digital image. Bendon Ligerie

Nothing more embarrassing that having your family see that red thong a cheeky cousin gave you to wish you a healthy sex life for the upcoming year.

19. Decoraciones de Navidad: seriously, it is Xmas already, why would I need more decorations? Duh.

Credit: adornos-navidad-fieltro. Digital image. Manualidades

It is already Christmas, why would you give me even more decorations? Makes no pinche sentido.

20. A San Antonio so you can put it upside down to see if you finally stop being a solterona. Those people can’t understand that women can be single and independent! Ya déjenme en paz!

Credit: NwYU4 . Digital image. SDP NOTICIAS

Any single woman over 25 is judged by nosy relatives as a quedada, a spinster. Legend has it that you have to put this saint upside down to attract buenos partidos. Just don’t, I am dating myself thank you very much.

22. A bottle of cheap rum with a bow that probably cost more than the booze itself

Credit: ronjamaica. Digital image. The Clinic Online

One of those last minute gifts picked up at the corner shop. The cheap tío will probably beg you to open the chupe and drink it himself. No es justo!

23. An ugly handwoven table runner…. really, who uses those?

Credit: camino-de-mesa-en-crochet_7_900. Digital image. Facilisimo

No one uses table runners. Period. Chances are they will be forgotten in a kitchen drawer, pero no importa. 

24. Rompope filled chocolates that are bound to give you a terrible sugar cruda

Credit: 41QGyFZ8PFL. Digital image. Amazon

Those damn chocolates filled with eggnog are so damn sweet and addictive that they give you a sugar rush and then a bad hangover the next day. We love to hate them and hate to love them.

25. Super kitsch jewelry de fantasía

Credit: 616Fu9iM4pL._SY500_ . Digital image. Amazon.

Do you really think I will go out clubbing wearing that? These pieces of bisutería are generally a season or ten too old…

26. Stop it with the Navidad themed toilet covers

Credit: 3-unid-set-Navidad-elfos-Cubiertas-de-inodoro-higi-nico-Sets-Navidad-Decoraci-n-Ba-eras.jpg_640x640. Digital image. Ali Expres

They are not hygienic and no one wants to have Santa looking into their private toilet business. No one who is on their right mind puts what is basically a plush toil on the escusado, come on!  Qué asco.

27. A Luismi CD. Yes, un pinche cé dé!

Credit: lm. Digital image. RoMaNo

Some older relatives just do not get that CDs are a thing of the past and keep gifting these relics with the same recycled Luis Miguel songs… yes, we know the Netflix show was a big hit, but that doesn’t make these cool…. chances are they will end up as decoration for el arbolito de Navidad next year.

28. A Spanish-English dictionary that is oh so passive aggressive

Credit: 038427_FB7C506F5EC34FBD82C30195BA61EF50. Digital image. School Speciality

Being pushed by the relatives to perfect your español? This might be the best cachetada con guante blanco in the book. So you now know, mijitos, better polish your language skills or face the bilingual police!

29. What you gave them on the intercambio the previous year

Credit: 1513271683_590677_1513272873_noticia_normal. Digital image. W Radio

Yes, it is not uncommon for extended families to just keep recycling the same old regalitos for generations. But that is what Christmas spirit is all about!


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Best Gifts To Send Your Mom This Year While She’s Stuck At Home

Fierce

Best Gifts To Send Your Mom This Year While She’s Stuck At Home

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Dyson’s Mother’s Day Supersonic Hair Dryer

At $399.99, the mother’s day set includes Dyson-designed 1.4″ Round brush and Dyson-designed Detangling comb. It’s a total splurge but worth the cost considering you get to snag two gifts with the blowdryer. Check it out here.

Foreo Luna Play Plus

This travel-size, facial cleansing device removes impurities for a clearer, smoother-looking complexion.

Price $49.00 and buy it here.

Bath & Bodyworks Linen and Lavender calendar

Bath & Bodyworks

For just $24.50, this calendar will be the ultimate stand-in for that spa treatment you wanted to give your mom this year but can’t because of quarantine. Laced with the smell of crisp linen, lavender sea salt, and fresh air breeze with essential oils you can get it here.

Everlane’s Japanese GoWeave Long Slip Dress

EVERLANE

Perfect for lounging at home while stuck at home. This long slip dress is closet essential and this one comes in Everlane’s very own wrinkle-resistant, drapey Japanese GoWeave. With a little slit up the side, it makes for the perfect slip-on to make you feel comfy and chic at home. For $88 you can but it here.

mitú’s Chisme With Mom Hits Different Tee

mitú

Your very first chisme was a special moment in your life. And who was there? Your madre. She’s been your day one chisme sensei since that very first beautiful moment she told you the vecina lied about her “Michael Coors” purse. Honor your mom with this tee by buying it here.

Reina de Los Tamales Embroidered Apron

Praise your Queen of Tamales for Mother’s Day with the sweetest apron of all time. Buy it here.

Brandes Fashion Luxury Travel Tote Pet Carrier

Perfect for mom’s beloved cat or small dog, this sweet bag will have your mom traveling in style while ensuring the utmost comfort for her little fur baby. But it here.

Garden Greeting Pot

Anthropologie

For the mom with a green thumb, these sweet set of plants are perfect. Handmade and charmingly crafted these colorful planters make the perfect little gift. Buy it here for $24.99.

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Día De Los Reyes Was The First Time I Allowed My S.O. To Experience My Culture

Culture

Día De Los Reyes Was The First Time I Allowed My S.O. To Experience My Culture

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For many who regularly take part in the holiday season, Christmas traditions are strongly tied to religious beliefs and practices. The ways in which the customs around the holiday season are carried out often deeply rooted in cultural rituals and they often vary from family to family. For my Puerto Rican family, the holiday season is drawn out well past the first of January when radio stations reel back on the jingles and Mariah Carey classics. For us, the Twelve Days Of Christmas sales or songs we know of don’t relate to the days leading up to December 25, but rather the twelve days in between Christmas Day and January 6 The Epiphany, a biblical day that marks the final leg of the  Three Wise Men’s journey to deliver gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus Christ.

Día De Los Reyes has always been an especially important day for my family. The fact that “reyes” is my mother’s maiden name has only made the day a little sweeter.

Photo provided by Wandy Felicita Ortiz

A more popular holiday back on the island, my abuela and abuelo Reyes brought their traditions to the mainland with them in the 1950s.

On the evening of January 5, each member of my family from grandfather to my youngest sobrino pull out cardboard shoe and clothing boxes (all marked with our names, drawn on and decorated over the years with crayons, markers, and glitter pens) to take part in a tradition that we hold dear in our hearts. After we’ve filled the boxes with snacks like carrots, lettuce, and sometimes grass for the Three Kings’ camels to munch on as they pass through our town we stick the boxes under our beds. Finally, just as we would with Santa Claus, we write the Three Kings–Los Reyes–a handwritten note wishing them safe travels as the journey to see the baby Jesus hoping that as they did with him on that first Epiphany, they’ll leave a small gift or token of some sort under our boxes.

Dia De Los Reyes functions similarly to Christmas Eve in my family. We all wake up and check under our boxes to see if we were good enough this year to receive any gifts. We’d go to mass together, where as kids we’d hope that maybe Los Reyes stayed in town with their camels long enough that day to be at the church community center to pose for photos. We would visit family and eat pernil and arroz con gandules, dishes reserved for celebrations and holidays.

As I got older I went to mass only sometimes and stopped looking to get my photos with Los Reyes.

Photo provided by Wandy Felicita Ortiz

I never stopped checking my box for gifts though, or remembering each rey by the names older relatives taught me to write in my letters: Balthasar, Melchior, and Gaspar. As an adult I focused on new ways to celebrate “being a king,” as my family would say, and took on the role of expert coquito maker.

When I started dating and began wanting to bring boyfriends home for the holidays, part of my new role during the holiday season also unintentionally became one of both gatekeeper and teacher of my Puerto Rican culture. As a sophomore in college, I brought my then boyfriend home for December for the first time. In my household, Noche Buena, Christmas Day, New Years Day, New Year’s Eve, and Dia De Los Reyes were all days set aside for family, exclusively. I knew not to ask for exceptions, and in the past had willfully or grudgingly passed up holiday and New Years parties to honor the expectation of being en familia.

But in my twenties I badly started to yearn for my first New Years kiss and wanted, even more, to share part of my twelve days of Christmas with somebody who mattered to me.

My parents, on the other hand, were hesitant. Dia De Los Reyes was about Los Reyes, as in my family.

My boyfriend was someone they saw a few times a year and knew of only from phone calls, letters, texts, and video chats. Someone so unfamiliar certainly wasn’t considered family, and moreover someone who wasn’t Latino couldn’t possibly understand the sanctity of the day we’d honored so lovingly all our lives.

Most concerning of all, Dia De Los Reyes is also known among some circles as “the poor man’s Christmas,” my grandparents’ explanation being that back in the days of Jesus, being a king didn’t mean wealth like it means today. It meant that the giftschildren and observers receive in their boxes today are small, like a $10 gift card, socks, some mittens, or maybe candy. The last thing my family needed was for some guy they didn’t know to reach into an old shoebox of all things, pull out socks, and think we were cheap. With some convincing and a little grumbling, my family allowed me to write my boyfriend’s name on a box, fill it with lettuce and put it under my bed on January 5.

That night as I lay in bed, I did feel nervous knowing that I was bringing somebody into such a special part of my life that no one had ever seen before outside of my parents. Earlier in the day, I made sure to explain to him how seriously my family took our family only traditions, and how it wasn’t just about the religious holiday but the namesake that ties us to one another. I felt silly as I highlighted decorating beat-up boxes as one of my favorite traditions, something I hadn’t ever admitted out loud. Quiet and reserved, he listened to my stories but didn’t ask any questions.

In the morning, I still had my family only morning mass and our opening of gifts, but later that day my boyfriend was invited over for pasteles, coquito, and the checking of his first and only Three Kings Day box.

My parents observed with critical eyes as he went through the motions of our traditions, seeming charmed by the gifts of a hat and gloves left resting on top of torn up shreds of lettuce, proof that Los Reyes had come through our house. As he followed our lead I sat hoping that by participating in the events himself, he might better understand where my love for my culture comes from, or maybe even briefly feel the same sense of childhood joy I do on that day each year. Admittedly, it was an awkward day for everyone involved and not filled with all the magic I had hoped for. Nonetheless, I still felt proud of myself for being able to break down a barrier that had long existed between myself and not only romantic connections but a friend, too.

I wanted the opportunity to show those outside of my family the part of my identity that I hadn’t always made transparent in my daily life, even if that meant that they didn’t understand or wouldn’t “get it” at first.

Photo provided by Wandy Felicita Ortiz

Even though the person who got to take the test run of my family only traditions and I aren’t together anymore, a few years ago he broke the mold for being able to bring others into a part of my life I was using to shutting so many close to me out of.n Maybe he did think that of us, our gifts, or the day we celebrate as cheap, but after the fact I, didn’t care. In the years that have followed, what has mattered most to me has been that I could start sharing Reyes, this name that laid down the foundation to who I am before I was ever born, and all the nuances that come with it with those I want to know me better.

This Dia De Los Reyes will be one of a few Reyes family festivities that my current boyfriend will be participating in, and another year where my family pulls out his box and welcomes his extra cheer into our holidays. While he’s still learning about my roots, I’m still learning that I can take these moments and use them to bring myself closer to my culture and my loved ones.


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