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Noche Buena Survival Kit for Kids

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Bicultural Christmas: Noche Buena Made Easy For Kids

Growing up bicultural means different traditions during Christmas. Cuban Christmas is definitely a whole other level of festive! Latinos all over the world celebrate a holiday called Noche Buena, which refers to Christmas Eve. While other Americans are tucking their kids to bed to await the coming of Santa, the Latino-American party is just getting started! I love incorporating both traditions into our parenting today. I always celebrate Noche Buena, but I do remember being bored and exhausted at a few points during the long night. So this year, in addition to her Christmas morning stocking, we’re starting a new tradition with Alina… the Noche Buena Survival Kit!

As a mother of small kids, raising a bicultural family, I don’t adhere to the midnight rule. Also, because my parents are divorced, I cherish many of the typical American holiday traditions of Christmas morning that I grew up with. While she won’t stay up until midnight on Christmas Eve, Alina will be awake well past her regular bedtime. I hope that this Noche Buena Survival Kit filled with activities and engaging toys will entertain her while the adults continue to feast and drink and usher in a beautiful Christmas morning…

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Noche Buena Kit

While shopping for some groceries, I picked up all I needed for Alina’s first Noche Buena Survival Kit from Walmart. I was happy to have only spent less than $15 on it all! Many of the small toys came from the craft section’s $1 area, including the red tote bag. The Mrs. Potato Head ($5) and tubes of PlayDoh ($0.50/each) were found in the holiday sections, towards the front of the store, while the princess canvas, small paint kit, glitter glue pens and crown to decorate in honor of Los Reyes were all in the craft section. And since it is Christmas, Alina even got a little bit of candy – an adorable Rudolph Pez Dispenser.

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I used leftover scraps of Christmas fabric to make a letter “A” and embellished it with gems also found in Walmart’s craft section. A little bit of glitter glue as a border and we have a sweet bag that will last for many Noche Buenas to come. Alina helped me make it and loves it so much. While she hasn’t even looked twice at the stockings hanging from our mantel, she has become attached to this little red tote filled with Noche Buena goodies. For the little Cuban girl in me that once was, that makes me so very happy.

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Noche Buena is a night of family and feast, but for young kids in a family of adults, it can also be a long night. I want Alina to cherish this holiday just as much as she does the morning that comes after. I think this simple Noche Buena Survival Kit filled with activities and presents that engage her will help achieve that tradition.

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