Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas in Spain

Traditional Christmas in Spain is nothing like the United States.  They have a Santa Claus but they call him Papa Noel and he doesn't come down your chimney at night with a bag of gifts.  Instead, he is more of a mascot for the holidays.  No reindeer, no sleigh, no Christmas cookies and milk.  There is no gift giving, stockings, no early morning surprises.  On Christmas Eve, traditionally, families get together for a big dinner.  This generally starts around 10pm at night.  They dress up in their nicest clothes and sit with each other's company to eat tapas, such as: shrimp, fish patae, ensaladilla rusa, ham, cheese, green olives, bread and chips.  I absolutely love the fish patae, and the ensaladilla rusa, but not so much their shrimp.  It tasted like low tide.

After tapas, comes the turkey.  They cut it up into pieces, with white wine sauce and potatoes.  Desert was pineapples, cheese cakes and traditional wrapped candies.

By midnight the kids are buzzing with sugar highs and the house is one big fiesta!  For entertainment we turned on the Wii and played Dance Dance!

This went on for about an hour... but the night was still very young!  At 1 am we went to Mikki's house, Marcos's close friends.  We arrived to find a group of people sitting in a circle, drinking wine and almond rum, while singing Christmas songs flamenco style. 



I was exhausted by the time we got home and my stomach felt like it was going to explode from all the food I ate.  Have I mentioned that I have gained 9lbs according to Marcos's scale since I arrived in Spain?  *gulp!  I am officially on a diet and working out daily.  (Today I mixed up my work outs and went swimming!!!)

Christmas day was just like any other day.  We repeated the dinner at Vane's house.... basically the same thing, but instead of Turkey I had pork loin with sweet wine sauce and raisins.  It was soooooo good.  YUMMY!  I was able to Skype with Mom, when Terry opened his present from me, and it made me miss home so much.  

Tomorrow I am on my way to Arcos de la Frontera again to get some Rx sun glasses and then to Rota on Thursday.  I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and have a lovely new year.  Please be safe!  I just bought my new years eve dress and I'm so excited to go out and celebrate!

Oooh, and one last thing.  I am so proud of Spain.  As of Jan. 2nd, all public places, including bars, will be smoke free!  Finally, I can go out and have a glass of wine without coughing up a lung!


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