A Happy Hispanic Holiday

¡Feliz Navidad! Christmas is in the air, and many of us are sharing our own holiday traditions with one another. Whether you decorate a tree, hang stockings, bake your favorite cookies or simply enjoy time with loved ones, each family that celebrates Christmas partakes in their own traditions. Read on to learn about a few of the ways many Latinos celebrate this holiday.

The Poinsettia

Latino or not, many of us associate Poinsettias with the Christmas season. But did you know this flower is native to Central America? Thanks to a man named Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in 1825, the Poinsettia was introduced to the United States, where he eventually began growing the plants himself. So, how did the Poinsettia become associated with Christmas? Some claim the bright leaves are a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem. Others believe in the Mexican legend of a girl who could only offer Jesus a gift of weeds on Christmas, which soon blossomed into the bright red plant. Either way, this colorful decoration is a Christmas staple in many Latino homes.

La Nochebuena

La Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, typically is a night of celebration with music, food and gifts for Latino families, while Christmas morning is a day of rest. The holiday often is observed with Misa de Gallo, or midnight mass, and a large dinner complete with traditional dishes—like tamales.

Tamales

For many Latino families, it wouldn’t be Christmas without homemade tamales! Families, mainly women, gather around the table in an open kitchen working tirelessly to prepare the ingredients and get them ready to share with friends, family and neighbors. If you’ve never had tamales, you need to try them this Christmas season. Like many other cities with a rich and vibrant Hispanic community, they’re fairly easy to find here in Kansas City.

In fact, we’ve teamed up with The Tamale Project, as social enterprise of Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph working together with Our Lady of Peace parish. These two entities have a vision for the Latino community in northeast Kansas City, and Puente is helping to make this dream a success by providing marketing support. We’ve established an online web presence, an ordering system and a new brand identity while assisting with parish cultivation. We truly believe in this project, as it embodies the spirit of the Latino family and individual—hard work, love, passion and dedication for one’s community. So check out thetamaleproject.com, and pre-order your authentic, homemade tamales made by Latinos right here in Kansas City.

These are just a few of the ways Latinos celebrate the Christmas season. Others traditions include Las Posadas, el Día de los Reyes Magos, and more. What’s your favorite tradition? Let us know in the comments below. And from all of us at Puente Marketing, we wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!