Finding gifts for bilingual, bicultural kids can be more challenging than you might think. Fortunately, though, there's a growing number of books, toys, and games geared toward the little ones on your holiday list. Look for books published in both languages, like René Colato Laínez's René Has Two Last Names/René tiene dos apellidos. Dolls, toys, and games representing diverse cultures can be found online at shopping sites like 4kidslikeme.
Family History Gifts
If someone on your list is into tracing family history, why not make a family tree or write your chapter in your family's story? This do-it-yourself gift doesn't cost a dime and will probably be among the most meaningful presents your loved one will receive this holiday season.
Lest you think sites like etsy.com are primarily for white women in their 30s who have taken up knitting, a keyword search for “Latino” on the online craft market will convince you otherwise. Handmade dolls, purses, clothing, and jewelry range from kitsch to couture.
If you have a passionate cook or foodie on your holiday list, you won't have a hard time finding the perfect gift this year; a record number of Latino-authored and themed cookbooks was published in 2012. Three hot sellers this season are Gran Cocina Latina, My Abuela's Table, and Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales. These beautiful books will look great whether they're dog-eared and splattered with salsa in the kitchen or shown off on a coffee table.
Easy to buy and wrap (just stick a pretty bow or ribbon on the bottle!) and always appreciated by fiesta hosts and hostesses, spirits are a perennially popular go-to holiday gift. Latin America has no shortage of regional spirits- from Peruvian pisco and Puerto Rican rum to Brazilian cachaca and cauim, you'll be able to find something for even the most well-traveled Latino on your list. Tequila, of course, is one of the most recognized spirits, and Partida's reposados and añejos are among the best, boasting long aging periods and a double distillation process that result in a smooth, savor-it-slowly finish.
Tony Bennett “Viva Duets” Album
Singer Tony Bennett has released several duets albums, but the latest is a compilation of his greatest hits sung with Latino artists, among them Ricardo Arjona, Vicente Fernandez, Juan Luis Guerra, Chayanne, and Maria Gadu. Many of the songs were recorded at the famous Cutting Cane Studios in Fort Lauderdale. Think your favorite music lover already has the album? Why not buy concert tickets? Bennett is currently on a tour of the Americas, with upcoming concert dates scheduled for Porto Alegre, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Mexico City, and San Juan.
The embargo prohibits importation and sale of habanos, though, of course, Dominican and Nicaraguan cigars are widely available throughout the United States. For the cigar-loving man in your life, Tabac Cologne is an appropriate gift, evoking nostalgia for a more glamorous, gentlemanly era. It has been made since 1955. For the true cigar aficionado, pair the cologne with Araceli Tinajero's fascinating book, El Lector: A History of the Cigar Factory Reader.
The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to share one's heritage with gift recipients, whether through food, stories, or songs.