This is why Christmas in Latin America is better than in the UK
Let me introduce you to how to do Christmas properly
As someone who is half Chilean, who has family all over Latin America, and who has grown up in several parts of the region, I have become well aqcuainted with Christmas traditions of my beautiful culture. I have spent most Christmas seasons in Chile, Panama, Nicaragua and Miami, Florida.
Some traditions are the same as in England with a Latino twist, and some are completely different.
Now, let me be clear that Christmas traditions can be different from country to country within Latin America, and this diversity is what makes it such a beautiful region. So with that in mind, here are some of the traditions I've grown up with.
Latinos tend to get a little extra for Christmas…
…especially when it comes decorating the home!
The entire city will be decorated. In Nicaragua, there was not a single corner without bright lights and loud music throughout pretty much ALL of December.
A lot of the time we have fake trees since evergreens don't grow in a lot of the climates around the region. If not, we decorate palm trees in the garden.
Fake snow is a big theme
Since, you know, we don't have real snow for Christmas.
In Chile we have huge Barbecues. Since its warm during Christmas we have large outdoor meals where we decorate our gardens and eat a lot.
In Miami, there's outdoor nativities with carollers who sing traditional Cuban Christmas songs, and it's truly heartwarming.
In Panama, Miami, and Nicaragua, the drink of choice seemed to be rum. In Chile, it is definitely Pisco Sour. It's a bit too warm for mulled wine.
It's definitely tradition to drink by the pool or the beach for Christmas and maybe get a little too drunk.
We open our Santa presents on the night of the 24th, but most of our presents are delivered by The Three Wise Men during the Epiphany on January 6th.
It's a time of charity for us
We tend to donate more to charities, give homeless people food and presents. We spend all of our Christmas budgets on other people rather than on ourselves.
It's all about being good to your neighbour! For example, in Chile there is a silent fireworks rule in many neighbourhoods so dogs won't get spooked. People also often use Confetti instead because it isn't as bad for air pollution.
There are usually lots of outdoor parades and parties.
In Panama, the entire city goes outside on Christmas day to dance, sing, watch the parade and meet up with everyone they know and love.
And there's a LOT of loud music and dancing.