Christmas and New Year Spanish Style


John and I decided to celebrate Christmas and New Year Spanish-style.  Not that we had much choice, as most shops, bars and restaurants in Jumilla closed early on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) and Nochevieja (New Year’s Eve) so that staff could be at home with their families. 

Seafood plays an important part in any Spanish Christmas Eve, so I dutifully queued at the fish counter in Consum, pleased that there weren’t too many people ahead of me.  Of course I hadn’t allowed for the vast quantity of seafood that each individual was buying while I waited to purchase my miserly half kilo of langostinos!  John filled the basket with everything else on my shopping list while I waited at the fish counter then left me with it while he went to his bank.  I still hadn´t  been served when John came back, so I then popped out to my bank, returning just in time to ask for my langostinos!

Christmas Day was so warm that we were able to sit out on our balcony enjoying a glass of cava before heading for Restaurante San Agustin for lunch at 2pm.  Turkey and all the trimmings might not have been on the menu, and Christmas pudding was also missing, but we weren´t complaining.  John had roast kid while I chose monkfish in cava from the wide selection of appetising dishes.  The restaurant and bar were packed with other couples and families enjoying their Christmas lunch and wishing each other “Feliz Navidad”.

It was strange to find all the shops open on Boxing Day, which is a normal working day here.  My daughter Vicky and her husband Ivan had arrived to spend a few days with us.  We dragged them out at 10pm on Boxing Day to Los Chilines, a local wine shop, for a cava and chocolate tasting. Not that they were complaining – especially with the delicious home-made cakes and chocolates that were being handed out!  Everybody was given a party bag to get them into the party spirit, though we have discovered that Jumillanos need hardly any encouragement.

We took advantage of the car that Vicky and Ivan had hired and visited Mula for the first time.  We had decided to drive through Cieza, which normally isn´t a problem, however on that particular day a statue was being unveiled in the middle of a roundabout, so the Guardia Civil were diverting traffic.  This caused a bit of confusion to the GPS system, however eventually we found our way out of the town and along a slow, long winding road to Mula.  After exploring the town and having a very good lunch at El Hogar, we decided to take the longer less scenic route back to Jumilla to save time.

Things seemed a bit quieter after our visitors had gone, but we still had New Year and Reyes Magos to look forward to.  John and I enjoyed the New Year’s Eve concert outside the Teatro Vico, where the local youth band played familiar melodies such as Jingle Bells, White Christmas and Silent Night as well as pasodobles.  Luckily the sun shone down on them, though their conductor cast a few anxious glances at the sky as the rain clouds started gathering.

Our New Year’s Eve evening was low-key: we watched Spanish TV, ate our 12 grapes as the bells chimed midnight in Madrid, toasted each other with cava, and listened to the fireworks being set off to welcome in 2010. We could have gone out at 0045 when our local bar was due to open, however we decided to draw the line at that.  After all, we still had another week to go!  The fact that it was raining outside might also have had something to do with it…….

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  1. Janice’s avatar

    I will enjoy reading your blog, Sue. You’re welcome to have access to mine but it IS private, I only allow certain people access.