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My Merry, Festive, Yuletide Expat Diary - Part 1.

By Mr Grumpy - Tue 28th Dec 2010

For the sixth year running we decided to spend Christmas at home in Spain. I'm not Christmassy at the best of times, but traveling back to the UK to spend Christmas fills me with terror, and after seeing the recent problems that the airports in the UK were having due to the bad weather, I was especially glad that we had stayed put.

So, with that in mind I decided to keep a diary of our christmas in Spain. Partly to remind me not to consider spending a Christmas in the UK again, and partly so I can show my Mother the link so she can read it online rather than have me regurgitate the whole process in painstaking detail.

Weds 22nd December

Christmas Gift Lists

Our daughter's last day of term at school. Yesterday we were sent an indecipherable note back from school advising us (I think) that 'Papa Noel' would be visiting the Children in the afternoon if we wanted to be there. The parents and kids all had drinking chocolate and chocolate cake. Festive, apparently - although I thought that was supposed to be Mince Pies and Mulled Wine.

Spent the evening in the shed outside, freezing my nuts off and trying to assemble a child's bicycle and a wooden toy kitchen. Instructions were in either raving Valenciano, Polish or Rumanian. Decided to do the bloke thing and tackle it without reading any at all.

I was pleasantly surprised that when I finished both ressembled the picture on the box.

Thursday 23rd December

No School today so babysitting. Typical - she usually needs waking up for school most mornings, but as soon as there is a chance of a lie-in she's up with the lark.

Went to the Supermarket to pass a bit of time. Full of old women stock piling their grapes for new year, Turron and those horrible powdery almond biscuits that the Spanish go mad for. No Chocolate Oranges anywhere to be seen - the Mrs will go postal.

Friday 24th December

Christmas Eve. It doesn't even feel Christmassy yet. The last few days have been a bit grey, windy and wet - not a chance of any snow. I 've just realised that my daughter is 3.1/2 years old and has never seen snow other than on the telly.

Might nip to the bar by the playground later, it is usually full of parents with their kids up to about 8-ish so it might be the last and only chance to get into the christmas spirit - that said, 'Noche Buena' isn't usually that big a deal here in Spain.

Is it normal to have last minute anxiety that my 11 bottles of wine won't be enough to last us through until Boxing day? - I think that the part of me that grew up in the 70's and 80's can't accept that these days the shops are just closed for the 1 day for christmas.

Saturday 25th December.

Even though woefully hungover I felt massively cheated by the fact that I was up and awake before my 3 year old Daughter. What's that all about ?

Late last night I also took great pleasure in harvesting my home grown crop of oranges specifcally so I could put one of them in a stocking at the foot of her bed and proudly claim that 'it was all I ever had when I was a kid' etc..etc.. - oh the nostalgia of growing up in a cardboard box in Yorkshire all those years ago...

Spent a couple of hours opening presents and avoiding an over-exited infant as she tried to cycle around the house on her new bike breaking my ankles, then later hobbled over the vines to have a few drinks in the bar in the village square whilst dinner was cooking. Or supposed to be. We got back at half past one expecting to have lunch, only find that a fuse had blown and the cooker wasn't in fact 'cooking'.

No great hardship - had a siesta and ate our christmas Dinner at five instead.

Sunday 26th.

Woke up in need of a shower only to find that there was a thick frost on the ground, and as such all the water pipes were frozen solid again (Due to our water supply running above ground). Waited until eleven when we could brush our teeth and have a shower, by which time it was quite bright and sunny. Took the new bike and the dog to the beach. Seemed everyone else had the same idea.

Monday 27th December

My daughter was babysitting me again today as the Mrs is at work.

Really windy last night, hardly got a wink of sleep with all the decorative regalia that the Mrs has put on the front door knocking away. I also found out why most people choose to keep their Christmas tree inside the house as opposed to on their Naya. Spent the best part of the morning chasing tinsel and baubels around the garden.

I've just remembered that the Christmas period in Spain drags on and on... it doesn't just end with boxing day like it does in the UK so you can click here to read Part 2 of 'My Merry, Festive, Yuletide Expat Diary.

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