A Very Hispanic Christmas

Everyone’s favorite time of the year is slowly approaching and preparations for the big night have begun. However, when I say big night I’m actually talking about Christmas Eve. Customs in a Hispanic household are to celebrate “Christmas festivities” the night before Christmas and let me tell you it’s definitely a night to remember. If you’re not familiar with how we celebrate here’s a brief look at what to expect and some rules to consider if it’s your first time experiencing a very Hispanic Christmas.

For starters, get ready to see lots and lots of family. Christmas Eve parties are a great time to get all cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, etc. together into the same room for some family bonding before opening gifts. Don’t forget to acknowledge everyone and greet them with hugs and kisses. Now unlike other cultures, we open our Christmas gifts precisely at midnight. It’s something we like to do all together and although some of the gifts may just be small souvenirs everyone has a great time and lots of laughs are always shared.

 

Everyone’s favorite part at our Christmas parties has to do with the food. There’s always such a huge variety of delicious options to choose from and at the end of the night you can be sure there will still be enough food for Christmas Day leftovers. One thing Hispanics are known for is the amount of food given at the parties. There always seems to be enough to feed a little village and it never goes to waste because leftovers always taste better the next day (just my opinion.) If this is your first time celebrating in a Hispanic household (I’m sure this is similar in other cultures) never, and I mean NEVER, reject a plate of food even if you’re not hungry. Rejecting food is a huge form of disrespect especially because the food is always made with so much love, so even if you’re full gladly take the plate and enjoy it because, trust me, 99% of the time the food is so delicious. Now, if you’re of age and a drink is offered, you shouldn’t reject it either unless you really don’t drink. But, to some in my culture that’s a form of celebrating. I’m a huge advocate for standing your ground so if you feel like you’re being pressured, make it known that your serious about not drinking and they will 100% understand.

 

Hispanic parties, in general, are known to last until the wee hours in the morning. Be prepared to stay up until 3 or 4 a.m. and if you feel like you definitely won’t last that long then consider driving yourself to the party, having someone on standby to pick you up, or ordering an uber. Once 1 a.m. hits it’s storytelling time and, in my opinion, is the best part of the party. Everyone is semi-buzzed remembering great times, telling embarrassing stories of each other, and talking about favorite past Christmas experiences. 

There is always so much life at our parties. We’re always excited and look forward to Christmas Eve each year. Obviously, spending time with family is great, but it always seems like a sigh of relief or the most stress-free moment of the year for all. It’s not just about the gifts, we don’t really care about the gifts. Family and friends are everything and creating more amazing memories with everyone is the true gift of our Christmas Eve parties. I hope this year you get to experience one of these parties and even if you don’t, I know that no matter where you are you’ll be surrounded by love and happiness. With lots of love, I wish you all Happy Holidays!!!