Holiday essentials - latino christmas songs
“Eterna Navidad” (1986), includes traditional English and Spanish Christmas songs performed by artists like Pandora, Alvaro Torres and Jose Feliciano. This album is an essential in any Latino home during the holiday season. (Photo/www.mercadolibre.com)

It’s that time of year again. Time to clean out la caja china, order el lechon or gallina, reunite las tias, los tios, los primos, abuelito and abuelita and exchange gifts on Noche Buena.

As Christmas rolls around the corner, we can’t help but put together the top Spanish Christmas songs that bring back a sweet sense of nostalgia during the holiday season.

Back in the day apparently covering classic Christmas carols or writing a Christmas song was “totally in.” Don’t forget the cheesy music video to accompany them, with tacky Christmas sweaters, the big hair-do and choreography, all to keep you entertained during the holiday season.

If you are an eighties baby, like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Of course these songs were released in the late eighties/early nineties, but because they never “lost their mojo” and they are “viejitas pero bonitas,” they are must-have holiday essentials at any Latino household.

A retrospective of ‘canciones Navideñas’

1. “La Fiesta de Pilito” • El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico

Nothing screams ready for the holidays like this salsa-mambo jam by the orchestra El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. This classic fiesta tune lets us know that Christmas is just around the corner when El Gran Combo sings:

“Pero no se apuren que la Navidad a la vuelta de la esquina esta / A comer pastel y a comer lechon, arroz con guandule y a beber ron”

2. “Esta Navidad” • Varios Artistas

It doesn’t get any better than this! Everything mentioned above -original Christmas jams, tacky sweaters, the eighties hair- can be found in this four minute pop ballad called “Esta Navidad.” The 1987 release brought together the best of the best (Timbiriche, Daniela Romo, Yuri, Mijares and more) to wish everyone a “Feliz Navidad.”

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