*Christmas is over? Says who! Welcome to the holiday blog tour. You can enjoy my post on the tour below, then catch the previous stop here: https://wanderinginkwells.wordpress.com/2022/01/27/holiday-blog-tour-top-ten-family-favorite-holiday-movies/!*
If you had asked me only about two years ago which Christmas song I hated the most, I would have said Feliz Navidad.
Many factors contributed to this tragedy.
Factor Number One—my siblings and I had an ill-fated recording of Larry the Cucumber singing Feliz Navidad. Complete with a tuba section and the chicken dance. (If you grew up on VeggieTales, you probably know what I’m talking about. :)) As if that was not traumatizing enough, one year, one of my siblings developed an unhealthy obsession with it and would listen to Larry singing Feliz Navidad on repeat for hours. Which meant all of my family listened to it on repeat.
Opening my inner wounds here, guys.
Factor Number Two—not too many years later, Feliz Navidad became that Christmas song that followed me around for the season. You know, that song that somehow is playing in every store and on every station whenever you turn on the radio?
Therefore, my Grinch-like hatred of Feliz Navidad.
I had a case. I mean, I don’t even speak Spanish, so I don’t know what they’re saying. In my experience, if you don’t know what the lyrics mean, you don’t sing them. Most people who record it don’t even know the words—they just kind of mumble their way through the line until they get to “I WANNA WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS.”
This year, however, I heard Feliz Navidad many times.
But I never felt annoyed.
I started working at an elementary school with many Spanish-speaking students.
Some of these students come into our school having never spoken English before.
I think of one boy who came into our school in the middle of first grade and didn’t even know his alphabet. This year, he read a part in his grade’s reader’s theatre without any help.
I think of one girl who came into kindergarten and cried every day at lunch for the first two weeks. She only spoke to her teacher when asked a question or taking a test. This year, she finally spoke to me at recess.
I think of a new kindergartener this year. While she gives everyone the most beautiful smiles, she still hasn’t spoken even to her teacher.
It’s overwhelming. It’s tear-inducing. These kids work so hard to learn. They want it so badly.
I can’t imagine going to school every day and not understanding anything anyone is saying.
When all your teachers and friends speak another language . . . even the simplest phrases mean a lot.
I’ve seen these students’ faces light up when their EL teacher speaks to them in Spanish. Or when a teacher uses even the simplest Spanish phrase, whether or not they say it right. Or when a para tries to pronounce their name correctly (even if said para—ME—fails every time).
This year, our office staff decorated the right side doors with the words “Merry Christmas.” On the other side, they decorated it with the words “Feliz Navidad.”
Even though those Spanish words don’t mean much to me right now, they do to these kids.
Because Christmas is for everyone.
One thing that’s really struck me this Christmas is how Jesus came for everyone. All nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities. Every personality—the shy to the outgoing. The sweet and the annoying. He even came for the ones that He knew wouldn’t believe in Him.
He cares about each person individually, and He did when he came at Christmas. He speaks the simple phrases that mean the most to each of us.
He came for me. He came for you. He came for your classmates. For your family. For the ones who annoy you most.
For overwhelmed Spanish students at an elementary school.
Feliz Navidad means Christmas to students who might not hear it any other way. And Jesus means Christmas to all of us.
And who knows? Maybe by next year, I’ll have learned Spanish and will actually know what those lyrics mean. If I find out, I’ll tell you.
Catch the next holiday blog post here! https://annakatewrites.wordpress.com/2022/01/29/christmas-the-everlasting-joy/
Catch the previous one here (seriously, you should check it out): https://wanderinginkwells.wordpress.com/2022/01/27/holiday-blog-tour-top-ten-family-favorite-holiday-movies/
Hi, I'm Rachel! I'm the author of the posts here at ProseWorthy. Thanks for stopping by!