I’m really sorry, but I’ve let you down again. This is the third year running that you’ve tried so hard, but I just abandon you. Every December, you deck the country in lights and poinsettias. You put up beautiful nativity scenes. You lines the streets of Málaga with stalls selling roasted chestnuts, filling the calles with that rich warm scent that before I only knew from the song.
Spain truly is magical at Christmas time. But every year I feel like I don’t get to take full advantage of it. For me the month of December usually consists of three jam-packed weeks of work, maybe some travel the first weekend for the school holiday, and then a race to the finish to buy Christmas presents before I fly home. I normally spend two weeks at home, and then come back to Spain the Friday or Saturday before starting work on Monday.
This leaves very little time to enjoy Christmas time in Spain, which is a shame, and leaves me with a strange feeling. In so many ways I have adopted Spain as my home, and in turn it has adopted me. But I can’t bring myself to spend Christmas without my family, and I end up neglecting the culture I try so hard to embrace.
This year will be better, because I’ve brought a piece of Spain home with me (the novio!), and we’re going back to Spain in time to spend Los Reyes with his family (Most of Spain opens Christmas presents and celebrates on January 6, which according to the story is the day the three wise men brought presents to baby Jesus). Thanks to him and his family, my Christmas will be more of a mix of both cultures, but I still won’t see what my new city of residence is like in full celebration.
Spain, don’t take it personally. Perhaps someday I’ll spend Christmas with you but I’ll need to get my family over there first.