28 Dec 2011

Christmas Feasting and Playing

December 28th... a day for hearing really weird things on the news... things that you should double (and triple!) check before you believe them! For example: Iker Casillas - star goalkeeper and captain of the Real Madrid and Spain's World and European Champion National Football team - announced that he was retiring from football. YIKES!!! I heard it on the radio, he announced it on his Facebook profile, it must be true! Regular news broadcast on TV at lunch time... and the sports section starts with the presentation of Spain's new Davis Cup (tennis) Captain: Alex Corretja (yay!). Not a word about football? In this country? Impossible! So what about that massive news flash I heard on the radio?! FOOLED YOU!!! 

December 28th is the Día de los Santos Inocentes in Spain. Traditionally it's the Day of the Holy Innocents in the Catholic Church, in honour of the children massacred in Bethlehem by Herod's order (with Mary, Joseph and Jesus just barely escaping to Egypt). But in Spanish an "inocente" is also what you call someone who is naive, easy to fool or trick. So this day has become the equivalent of "April Fool's Day" in Spain and Latin America! Not so much tricks as fake funny news and jokes. Or sticking a white paper doll on someone's back. In any case, don't believe anything you hear until you've verified it! :p

Today was also the 4th Day of Christmas, and in my family the 3rd day of leftovers! Or is it 4th meal? I've lost count! My Dad totally overdid it this year with the feasts... I think he's loosing his sense of proportion... Not that I'm complaining, Christmas leftovers are the best kind!

It all started on Christmas Eve with the crazy 15 kg (33lb) turkey my Dad had ordered (to be fair he asked for "at least 10kg", just got more than expected)... for 6 people! (the 2 year old doesn't eat enough to count) I think it was even bigger than my niece! But at least it gave my Dad a chance to show off his fancy new oven he's been smiling about for the past 6 months! :p

Come dinner time the Little Princess (as my cousin, her mom, calls her) was the first to the table, asking for Pavo! Pavo! Pavo! (turkey). 

 But she had to wait a bit 'cause we started off with turkey broth... from the Thanksgiving turkey!

Doesn't this plate look appetising? Turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes under the gravy. Cranberry sauce (my sis brought the berries from England, can't get them here!). Corn. Asparagus. Sweet potatoes. YUM!!! And almost impossible to finish!

In the middle of the meal we got a call on FaceTime: the missing sister checking in from New Zealand! We had her call back half an hour later. With the 12h time difference we were sitting down to chat after our Christmas Eve dinner and her Christmas Day breakfast! 

We had a fun half hour goofing off online and opening the presents she'd gotten us and we'd sent to her.

My underwater photos (of which I've barely shown you any yikes!) will come out even better now!

Then we decided to let dessert wait a bit and just continued with our gift exchange (which my family has always done on Christmas Eve, my Mom's Spanish influence! I don't know why though, since people in Spain traditionally exchange gifts on 12th Night, Jan 5th the evening before the Epiphany. In any case we always had our presents on Christmas Eve and the ones from Santa on Christmas morning. I seem to remember my Mom mentioning once she wanted us to distinguish between what we gave each other and what Santa brought). Speaking of my Mom, doesn't she look fabulous in this new red jacket my Dad gave her?

I love this picture of the two of them with the Princess, admiring the calendars my sisters and I gave them (24 months full of photos of the lot of us, my Kiwi sis designed it with iPhoto):

a Princess with her Grand-aunt/uncle (they're starting to nag us about another kind of "grand")

When all the presents were unwrapped, and our arms and backs were tired from all the hugging, we let the Princess keep playing, while we poppped the cork in a bottle of cava (Spanish champagne) and dug into our dessert: homemade pumpkin and cherry pies! yummmmmm...

discovering the magic of Legos

Moving on to Christmas Day... with the too much food starting on Christmas morning since my Dad made pancakes to accompany our stockings!

The Princess opened hers before breakfast though... would have been too messy at the table! And she was all excited to discover the magic of "Papá Noel"!

We've never abandoned the tradition of the Christmas stockings in my family, even once we were all grown up. Just the content changed, from exciting toys to more funny knick-knacks and thingamabobs, getting weirder and weirder each year as Santa seems to have acquired a variety of helpers to fill them! :p

That big a breakfast required some activity to burn it off, so I took my cousins to a park on the other side of the Bay I've been wanting to explore, full of palm trees and fountains! Of course what the little one was most interested in were all the playground sets!

Didn't care if some were "too big" for her, she had to go down every slide over and over again!

And she tired me out jumping on this little trampoline! :p

Of course when we got home she got to nap while the rest of us helped my Dad put together a lunch of leftovers: basically everything from the Christmas Eve dinner, with the difference being that the turkey was in a sandwich! :D She stayed napping with her dad and my Mom, while my Dad took my sister, my cousin and me out for our traditional Christmas movie session. Was the first time in years I've seen the movie theatre so packed! Massive lines... thank heavens for machines to pick up the tickets! We went to see New Year's Eve, a light rom-com in the tradition of Love Actually. Not amazing, but not bad either. Was entertaining and had some really good actors in it that were fun to hang out with for a while. 

After that it was back home to finish off Christmas with some Carols.

As for Boxing Day, or St Stephen's, not typically a holiday for us, but my cousins tell me in Mallorca it still is and they call it "Segundo Día de Navidad" (or Second Day of Christmas) and traditionally you go eat with another family member (so you might do Christmas Eve with one set of parents -if you're in a couple-, Christmas Day with another, Second Christmas Day with an aunt/uncle/sibling...). We took advantage of the beautiful day and headed out to explore an animal park in Benidorm.

in Terra Natura

Had fun showing the Princess all the animals (she loves them!), but the best part was when we happened upon the bird of prey show and got to participate in an unexpected way! :D


I would have been perfectly happy to go home and eat more turkey sandwich and soup, but my Dad had made other plans... plans he had initially intented to do on Christmas Day but was too tired (and too stuffed still!): a huge roast (6 kg!!!) and Yorkshire Pudding (this is the first time I remember having this)

Was delicious... but of course there was no way we were going to eat 1kg of roast apiece... so now we're spending the rest of the week alternating between turkey sandwiches and roast beef sandwiches! :D

Just thinking of all that food makes me want to join my sister and our niece in this little nap:

And that was an apperçu of my Christmas! Lots of Love and way too much food! We loved having my cousin and her companion and their daughter join us, helped us not feel the emptiness of my Kiwi sister not being here as much. Christmas just seems so much more magical with a 2 year-old running around! I hope you all had an equally wonderful Christmas! :o)


  1. What a fantastic Christmas holiday you had and you have such a wonderful family - I can just feel the love you share. Tell your dad that he is a man after my own heart - my husband LOVES to cook a HUGE turkey and that 33 lb. one is right up our alley! And that roast looked amazing! The Princess is adorable and I bet you there are geocaches in that park you took her to. What a great post. Can't wait to hear what you're up to for New Years.

  2. Hey, do you ever eat cold turkey, stuffing, and cranberries on toast with mayonnaise? To die for!!

  3. Yikes! That was a LOT of food, I am pretty full from just reading about it. But the pictures brought it all alive and I think if I just go for a nice walk I'll be fine... :-)

  4. 33 pound turkey? Did it die because it couldn't run away?

  5. Kim: funny you should mention that, my cousin's companion surprised us by mixing the stuffing with turkey in a sandwich, we'd never thought of doing it! I'll have to remember that for next year... And I always do my leftovers sandwiches with toasted bread, but with margarine since I intensely dislike mayo! ;o)

    DJan: I didn't seem like too much on the plate... but I think those plates are too big! I was still stuffed the next day! :p

    Murr: LOL!!! maybe so :D


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