The holidays are upon us, and that means plenty of movies celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, and every holiday in between. And of course, many of these movies generally star all or mostly white casts. That said, some holiday films do feature latinxs, prominently or at the very least in supporting roles. While we’re still a long way from getting a feature film about the beautiful chaos that is Noche Buena, that doesn’t mean we have to settle for zero representation in our festive faves. Here you’ll find a list of holiday movies that either put latinxs at the forefront or ones where we’re at least well-represented—because, y’all, representation seriously matters.
Nothing Like The Holidays
This may very well be the only holiday movie whose line-up is mainly composed of latinxs, and fortunately, it’s also hilarious. Nothing Like The Holidays follows a Puerto Rican family coming together to celebrate navidad in Chicago. But of course, plenty of terrible things happen—including the matriarch announcing that she wants to divorce her husband (ya te imaginas!) This film by Mexican director Alfred De Villa also stars a a slew diverse latinx talent, including Melonie Diaz, Luis Guzman, Freddy Rodriguez, and Latino History for Morons’ own John Leguizamo.
El Camino Christmas
This understated Netflix holiday film from 2017 stars at least two prominent latinos: Jessica Alba and Emilio Rivera (of Sons of Anarchy and Mayans fame). It’s a comedy about a grown man searching for his father who then somehow gets stuck inside a liquor store on Christmas Eve. You’ll laugh, you’ll maybe cry (because you’re laughing so hard), and you’ll enjoy a holiday flick that has at least a little bit of diversity in it.
Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad
This cross-cultural, bilingual Mexican film follows the story of a young boy who loses his father and travels to Mexico to spend the holidays with his mother’s family. The boy (who was bilingual but preferred to speak English—I’m sure that’s relatable for many of us) befriends another child and they go on a number of adventures around town. You also get a chance to see some Mexican holiday traditions, which is pretty rare in any holiday film. While it’s fairly low-budget, it’s still worth a watch (which can be viewed on YouTube for now, fortunately).
Starring none other than Cuban-American actress Cameron Diaz, The Holiday is a surefire romcom that will get you into the holiday spirit. Diaz and Kate Winslet have both been cheated on by their significant others (obviously this is fiction because who would dare hurt either of them), and so they decide to swap homes for Christmas and see where it takes them. The results are a bit predictable but also a ton of fun to watch. Plus it’s just nice to see a latina in a starring holiday film role!
If you’ve ever wanted to watch a truly surreal holiday film, you will get your fill by watching the 1959 Mexican classic Santa Claus. Directed by Rene Cardona, the movie’s twisted storyline involves an evil plot by the devil himself to kill Santa and ruin Christmas. The film takes place in several locations like Santa’s space castle as well as Mexico City and features a slew of Mexican actors. It’s certainly not traditional, but it is one of the few holiday movies written and directed by and starring latinxs, so we’ve got to celebrate it! Enjoy it full-length in its original Spanish right on YouTube (you might also be able to find an English-version if you prefer).
Holiday In Handcuffs
Mario Lopez is certainly one of our generations most popular Mexican-American actors, and fortunately for us, he’s also made a Christmas movie. Holiday In Handcuffs is an ABC Family Original Movie starring both Lopez and another millennial treasure: Melissa Joan Hart. The quirky holiday hit follows Joan Hart as she more or less kidnaps Lopez’ character so she has a boyfriend to bring home for Christmas. It’s pretty twisted, but all in good fun though, promise!
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas is certainly one of the most diverse holiday films out there. Moreover, it includes a couple of latinx cast members, including Latinx treasure Danny Trejo and Colombian-American actress Paula Garces. The film follows Kumar and Harold through one (potentially) final adventure that involves plenty of cannabis for a rollicking good holiday time.