I get asked at this time of the year what its like celebrating Christmas in Spain – and most people ask me if I am ‘going home’ for it! My reply is, well, I ALWAYS go home, every night – this IS my home.
The first year I was in Spain, our Christmas Day wasn’t recognised, it was impossible to find a Christmas tree and asking for crackers was likely to see the shop keeper giving you a funny look and shooing you out of the shop! But over the years, in true Spanish form, the wonderful residents of this country adopted the 25th as yet another holiday The 24th was always celebrated with a large family meal and now on the 25th, the Spanish give family and friends a small present too, as here the main ‘Christmas’ day is the 6th of January, with huge colourful parades of the 3 Kings can be attended in any village and town, sweets are thrown to the kids (and anyone else brave enough to stand close by!)
And so what we have now is effectively a month of celebrations, eating. Feasting, drinking, relaxing and merry making, as everyone winds down from mid December and starts to get going again mid January. Mostly the shops are open, but try and get any red tape stuff done and forget it – the Mañana word comes beautifully into play. And this, my friends, is one of the reasons I came to Spain, where the Live to Work normality is turned on its head in favour of Working to Live. As I write this the sun is shining in a clear blue sky, the temperature is around 20 degrees and a stroll along the sea front will see families enjoying their company, not on phones or stressed out, people walking their dogs, kids running all over with huge smiles on their faces – and that is priceless.