Shelby’s 10 Worst Christmas Songs: #8–Spanish Edition

#8: Feliz Navidad

Now let me start out by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Feliz Navidad. It’s a decent song. Here’s your obligatory video, although I will warn you that Jose Feliciano is not looking too great here.


Yeah, I’m thinking the years haven’t been as kind as they could be.

But anyway, I don’t hate the song. What I hate is the fact that it has become the sole representation of the entire Spanish language at Christmas. It’s like whenever someone playing Christmas music decides they want to be multi-cultural, they pull out Feliz Navidad (and then pat themselves on the back for including a song in another language!) (not counting German). Never mind that there are more words in English than in Spanish. Or that it’s mind-numbingly repetitive (and this is coming from the person who doesn’t mind It’s A Small World). Nope, when it comes to Christmas Diversity, you’re talking Feliz Navidad.

There are millions of people in this world who speak Spanish. They come from hundreds of national, regional, and cultural backgrounds. Most of them celebrate Christmas. And yet the ONLY song we can come up with to represent ALL Spanish-speakers is Feliz Navidad??? SURELY somewhere among these vibrant and rich cultures, there’s a traditional song we can add to our holiday repertoire and give Feliz Navidad a well-earned retirement.

Look, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart just as much as the next guy, but it wouldn’t kill us to branch out a little.

(“Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus” doesn’t count)

13 responses to “Shelby’s 10 Worst Christmas Songs: #8–Spanish Edition

  1. Cheryl December 4, 2011 at 8:56 am

    The whole time I was reading this I was thinking “what about Cheech and Chong?” I actually burst out laughing when I got to the last line. Thank you for responding directly to me. I feel honored.

    BTW – hearing a 4 year old sing Feliz Navidad might change your mind. Just saying.

  2. MelindaB December 11, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I have to say that I love the VeggieTales version of the song. Tuba solo!

    Seriously, no other version compares.

  3. RedRosie December 11, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    I saw a Lawrence Welk special once (don’t even ask me why I was watching it…guess missing my grandma) and a guy from the show said he wrote that song for a Christmas special because LW wanted to be more diverse. Who woulda thought that catching song came from Lawrence Welk!

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  5. Lyn Miller-Lachmann December 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

    This Sunday (December 18), my co-host on “Los Vientos del Pueblo” is featuring alternative Christmas songs from Latin America and Spain. I won’t be there this week but he has found many, many more to replace “Feliz Navidad.” Anyone who’s interested can listen to the program online, livestreamed, at from 2-6 pm Eastern Time on Sunday, December 18. That would be 11 am-3 pm your time. The Christmas song segment will run in the last half of the program; the first half is a tribute to Spanish/Catalan singer/songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat.

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