It’s December, and while the month’s winding down, there’s still time to enjoy the festive holiday decor, quality family time, delicious food, fun gift-giving, and of course, the cheerful seasonal movies. Each year, I get in the spirit by watching classic productions like It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. But where are the Latinx holiday films?! We want–and need–to see ourselves on the screen, and that includes during the holidays! So check out these cute, cozy, Latinx holiday movies while it’s still 2022. They all star Latinx actors playing Latinx characters – finally!
Nothing Like the Holidays (2008)
We root for films with just one Latinx star. But 2008’s Nothing Like the Holidays has a cast full of them, including Elizabeth Peña, Luis Guzman, John Leguizamo, Jay Hernandez, and Melonie Diaz. It follows a Puerto Rican family who reunites in Chicago to spend the holidays together. Of course, drama ensues. And you can (re?)watch Nothing Like the Holidays on several online platforms, including YouTube.
Enchanted Christmas (2017)
Couples that star in holiday films together, stay together. And Latinx Alex PenaVega and her hubby Carlos PenaVega are no exception. They headline the 2017 Hallmark movie, Enchanted Christmas. In typical adorable rom-com fashion, the main character, Laura, returns home, this time back to Utah, to renovate a hotel. It turns out that her ex, Ricardo, is running the annual Christmas Eve show. When the former dance partners meet up again, will sparks fly? You’ll have to watch on Hallmark to find out.
Feliz NaviDAD (2020)
We are going to give this 2020 Lifetime film points just for the clever title. Feliz NaviDAD stars Mario Lopez, as David Morales, an Arizona principal who lost his wife during the holiday season. He now works during Christmas as a delivery driver so as to not have to deal with his grief. His daughter and sister decide to help, and soon David is part of the online dating world. When he gets a match, is this a chance at new love? Find out by watching this cute rom-com, also starring Latinas Paulina Chavez and Marycarmen Lopez.
Sugar Plum Twist (2021)
Another Hallmark Channel holiday movie you need to check out is Sugar Plum Twist. The 2021 production stars real-life ballerina, Cubana Laura Rosguer, as well as Puerto Rican actor Ektor Rivera. This time, the character who’s going home to find love is professional ballerina Natalia, who “works with a ballet dancer who has a flair for Latin dance.”
Holiday in Santa Fe (2021)
Is Mario Lopez the go-to Latino holiday film star?! It looks like it. In the 2021 Lifetime movie Holiday in Santa Fe, he leads alongside Emeraude Toubia and Aimee Garcia. Emeraude plays Belinda Sawyer, an executive from a greeting card company who arrives in Santa Fe to buy a family business that focuses on making Mexican Christmas ornaments. There she meets Tony Ortega, played by Lopez who also executive-produced the production (Cristela Alonzo wrote the script!). Naturally, love, culture, family, and what really matters all factor into this cozy holiday film. Watch it on Lifetime!
Christmas With You (2022)
The last entry on our must-see Latinx holiday movies list is also the newest, released this year. Christmas With You is about a pop star, Angelina, played by Aimee Garcia, who decides to grant a fan her Christmas birthday wish by visiting her. This good deed leads Angelina to meet the teen’s music teacher father, portrayed by Freddie Prinze Jr. (they end up making sweet music together – in more ways than one!). Making it even more authentic, Christmas With You also stars Latinxs Deja Monique Cruz, Gabriel Sloyer, and Socorro Santiago, it was directed by Gabriela Tagliavini, produced by Herman Torres, and had Latinos in the writing room.