NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 23: In this handout photo provided by NYSE Euronext, Representatives from The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut visit the New York Stock Exchange on December 23, 2011 in New York City. Make-A-Wish Child Katherine Mara rang The Closing Bell joined by legendary musician Jose Feliciano who directly following the bell ringing performed his renowned hit, 'Feliz Navidad'. (Photo by Valerie Caviness/NYSE Euronext via Getty Images) | Handout via Getty Images
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’
“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”
“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.”
“Los Peces en el Rio” • Pandora
The family-composed trio from Mexico, Pandora, released their version of”Los Peces en el Rio,” in the eighties. This song, with arabic influences, is a traditional Spanish-language Christmas carol popular in Spain and Latin America.
“Popurri Navideño” • Los Garibaldi
Why stress on finding the Christmas song to listen to while decorating the tree? Mexican girl/boy band Garibaldi has your back with their mega mix of “Blanca Navidad,” “El Niño del Tambor,” “Entren Santos Peregrinos” and “Noche de Paz,” among others. I mean, what more can you ask for when you have four great-looking women and four great-looking men dressed in mariachi attire?
“Ven a Mi Casa esta Navidad” • Luis Aguile
This melancholic Christmas song was already out by the time the eighties rolled around, but it’s nonetheless one of the most played songs in Latino homes. Originally written and sang by Argentine singer and songwriter, Luis Aguile, “Ven a Mi Casa esta Navidad,” is the ultimate song to put ‘a todo volumen‘ when you are away from your loved ones during the holidays.
“Navidad Sin Ti” • Marco Antonio Solis y Los Bukis
Still with a melancholic mood but from the eighties, is the original Christmas song, “Navidad Sin Ti,” by the ‘en sus tiempos‘ heartthrob, Marco Antonio Solis y Los Bukis. The 1987 tearjerker was even once ranked No. 13 in the US Latin charts.
“La Navidad de los Pobres” • Los Tigres del Norte
There’s a 1947 Argentine movie with this name and there’s also Los Tigres del Norte’s ranchera song. No money? No Christmas shopping? Worst Christmas Ever? No problem, Los Tigres del Norte and their catchy, positive song “La Navidad de los Pobres,” will lift up anyones mood for the holidays.
“Feliz Navidad” • Jose Feliciano
Written in 1970 by Puerto Rican singer and songwriter, Jose Feliciano, is the universally renowned Christmas song “Feliz Navidad.” This bilingual song has become a modern classic for the holidays, not only for Christmas sake’s but for New Years Eve too.