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11 Reasons Noche Buena is the Better than Christmas |

Do you enjoy the anticipation of the New Year’s Eve countdown? The feeling in the air of something amazing about to happen when the clock strikes midnight? Spending the night with your closest friends and family? Well imagine all those things…on Christmas Eve! That’s Noche Buena.

Just in case you’ve never heard of it, let me clarify a bit more. I believe it isn’t exclusive to the Latino culture. Italian culture partakes in this awesome tradition too! It literally translates to “The Good Night or Evening” and it is in celebration of the birth of Jesus. It really is no different from Christmas at all. There’s the Christmas tree, Christmas music, family, friends, decorations, food and everything holiday-ish you could imagine! The only difference is that we celebrate it at 12:00 am…ON THE DOT! We don’t wait for Santa to make his way around the world. We are impatient. Because if he is magic, then he did it all right away!
More than anything else, the emphasis isn’t on Papa Noel, as Peruvian (my) culture calls him, but it’s on baby Jesus. On His entering the world. At midnight it is celebrated as if it is some big joyous momentous occasion (go figure). It holds such a celebratory style of tradition in Hispanic households because well…mostly because just like to turn up, so here are my favorite things about Noche Buena!

1.We’re Partying Before Everyone

It was the night before christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring…except the next door neighbors; the Quiroz’s. They were turing up for baby Jesus. I love the fact that as boys and girls, even families everywhere get put to bed nice and early, I am getting ready to party with my favorite people on earth!

2.We Get to Look Fly While White People Get to Post Pictures in Their Pajamas the Next Day

Not only do you get a head start on the festivities, but you get to wear you best outfit! Dressing up for Christmas is a huge deal for you and finding the right red and black, maybe white outfit to wear is a discussion with you mom and siblings hours before you head to your families house as your wrapping presents last minute.

3.You Get Two Christmases

When you grow up with non-latino people in a non-latino neighborhood. Noche Buena with your family is an awesome advantage! You get to spend your Christmas eve with your loved ones and Christmas Day with your friends or family you haven’t seen. That is unless your mom tells you “Y tambien durante las navidades vas a salir a la calle? No no no, tu me cedas en la casa.”

4.The food starts at around midnight & so does the fun!

You would be starving all day waiting for the banquet that would be unleashed at midnight! Even a small picking of food might hold you over but you refuse to eat because you know mom and your tias about to throw down!


Not to condone anything illegal but if you ever had a shot at taking a sip of something in front of your parents it was tonight. Finally when you’re of age you can sit and have a drink with your old man and he can tell you things like how you need to work hard and go to school. But you don’t care, you got your coquito!

6.Dancing is understood to happen.

There are two polar opposites. You’re either gonna run for your life when the music stars and your mom hits the dance floor with your type-a uncle, or you’re gonna be the one asking them to turn up the music. Either way, you know it’s coming….suavemente.

7.There’s no chestnuts roasting here!

Don’t get me wrong. I love the soothing Christmas season music all season long but when Noche Buena happens, it’s Mi Burrito Sabanero all night long.

8.That Uncle

We all got that uncle thats gonna say funny/pretty inappropriate stuff and do stuff he’s not supposed to. That get’s turned to the extremes during Noche Buena. It’s like happy hour meets, ladies night, meets dollar beer nights. You’re just asking for it. But it’s family! So what can really happen? umm…

9.The hour where the phone is being passed around to everyone to speak to abuela.

As the music is playing, everyone is eating, and the kids are running around nearly knocking over every adult someone begins to hand a cell phone around while screaming “ES TU ABUELA! ES TU ABUELA!” meaning “IT’S YOUR GRANDMA”. You approach it between two ways. One, you grab the phone and in your broken spanish say “Hi Grandma, love you were having fun miss you I hope you’re doing well k bye!” and had the phone off. Or, “You grab the phone and go to a separate room where you give grandma her time with you. Because you’re classy, you go with the latter.

10.When the party dies down it doesn’t mean it’s time to go it just means it’s time for un cafecito y un pan con mantecilla.

This is when all the truth comes out with the adults. Catching up and heart to hearts happen. This is when you know it’s almost time to go home.

11.You get your presents before everyone.

Of course this already happened but I saved it for the end. The best part of Noche Buena is you get your presents before everyone else! How awesome is that!



What is your favorite part of Noche Buena? Do you wish you celebrated it? How do you celebrate your Christmas? Let me know! Subscribe and keep in touch!

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