Bilingual is Better

Instead of bringing you another guide of cool gifts for your children (any Find featured on this site is sure to Wow!), we´ve decided to showcase our Finds of things infused with the multicultural holiday spirit.  We´ve created a short but sweet list that ranges from cards, to music, to books, to sites doing the right thing.

Just a quick search on Etsy.com with the keyword “Navidad”  delivers pages full of beautiful hand-made objects reflecting the spirit en español. One of my favorites was this simple, yet elegantly gorgeous boxed set of ten cards with the phrase “Feliz Navidad” laser printed on the front.  When you open it you read:  “that means Merry Christmas in Spanish.”  The artist behind this Sweet Perversion Designs shop will also personalize the cards if you request it.  There’s only one set in stock right now ($16.00).  I would hurry to get it!

The oral tradition of villancicos, or Christmas carols, is a huge part of all Christmas celebrations along Latin America and Spain.  This book, Merry Navidad: Christmas Carols in Spanish and English, does a beautiful job at preserving 19 of these verses and translating them to English.  There’s also nine brief descriptions of how the holiday is celebrated in many countries including Perú, Chile, México, Puerto Rico and Argentina. ($12.23)

Of course Dora the Explorer wouldn´t miss out on the holiday celebrations! Dora´s Christmas is a CD with 16 classic holiday songs with a Dora/Latino twist. If your young child is a Dora fan, this is a great CD to introduce them to the songs which make our Navidad celebrations special. Our favorite song is “La Nochebuena!” ($10.99)

Part of the Putumayo Kids Presents collection, the Christmas Around the World CD is a collection of Christmas songs performed by artists from around the globe. The 12 songs in this CD are sure to give an eclectic mix to your holiday playlist. I had never danced to “Joy to the World” before, but this version from Cuban musicians sure got me salsa-ing to it!

Photo by A30 Tsitsika

Photo by A30 Tsitsika

Many Latin American nations celebrate both Noche Buena and, two weeks later, Reyes Magos. One of the traditions on Reyes Magos is to eat together a sweet bread know as Rosca de Reyes. The fun part is that someone will get a little plastic baby Jesus in their portion, which means they get to have the whole family over to their house weeks later on el Día de la Candelaria for tamales and atole. I´ve stood in long lines in Mexican bakeries in Los Angeles waiting to get my hands on one of these roscas. Now, I found I can actually order one online. How convenient! I found them here and here.

Kids are all about “mine, mine,” so anything with their name on it is sure to be a hit. Frecklebox is in the business of creating cool designs on puzzles, placemats, stickers, coloring books, etc that you can personalize with your child’s name. They have several holiday-themed objects, including this hanukkah puzzle and snow stickers.

Why should we create another guide when our friends at Latin Baby have it covered with the Latino Family Gift Guide? They’ve put together a great collection of gifts for la familia, los niños, los amigos, and a separate category for gifts under $20. They´ve included today´s hottest bilingual and affordable toy line, Ingenio. Check out the guide here.

Tis the season to give. Donor´s Choose is a great option if you´re looking for a charity to support this season. This site connects you to classrooms around the nation that are in need of funds for different reasons. We know how much our classrooms have suffered during the last years and this is a great way to support the efforts of teachers leading the way to educate our children. Browse around the site and you´ll find several bilingual classrooms in need of books and such. The best part is that you really do connect with the classroom you help and can see for yourself how your donation was put to use.

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