December is here and the holiday season is upon us! Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Mawlid, now is the time to enjoy traditions and festivities with family and friends. You may have loved ones coming to town for one of many gatherings. One holiday tradition is Las Posadas, a nine-day holiday celebration observed by many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, where friends and families participate as “innkeepers” and host a Posada (or gathering) at a different home each night.
In honor of Las Posadas, and our other beloved celebrations, here are nine tips and tricks to make this year’s holiday season memorable for you and your guests without breaking the bank.
- Dine in. Having a big crowd stay with you for a few days? That always means you have a lot of mouths to feed! Instead of going out, make some of your favorite holiday dishes at home. Dishes such as tamales and pozole are always traditional crowd-pleasers. Check out this recipe and save yourself from a large bill.
- Make Your Own Drinks. Make your own drink bar at home! Try out this recipe for Mexican Ponche, the traditional beverage for Las Posadas. This spiced, hot beverage is a yummy treat for kids and adults alike.
- Bake Cookies. Who doesn’t love the smell of cookies baking in the house? Baking cookies can be an activity while making dessert for your guests all at once!
- Story Time. Whether you’re huddled around the fireplace or lounging on the couch, pull out some classic holiday stories to read out loud together. This is a great way to teach your kids about holiday traditions. Check out these top books to celebrate Las Posadas.
- Holiday Tunes. Festive music always puts guests into the holiday spirit. Instead of going out to a show, why not sing some tunes in your very own home? Crank out some tunes, such as the Las Posadas song, and even instruments, if you have musicians in the house to get into the holiday spirit.
- DIY Crafts. Do you have kids staying with you? Why not have a craft night? There are plenty of simple, festive and non-expensive crafts you can do, from papel picado decorations to making your own traditional seven-point starred Mexican piñata, which is a part of the Las Posadas tradition.
- Piñata Time. Whether you made your own or picked one up, pulling out a piñata can be a great way to gather everyone together. Fill yours up with some holiday sweets that everyone will love.
- Play a Game. Make things interactive! Pull out old-time favorite board games or let the kids put on plays for everyone.
- Gift Bags. Send your guests off with a little treat for the road. A tradition of Las Posadas is for the hosts to give out aguinaldos, small bags with sweets such as candy and cookies. You can even include cookies that you all made together earlier!