19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

19 things you'll find in Spain at Christmas

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Spain at Christmas is a 'Navidad' miracle of fresh seafood, lottery tickets, sugary sweet turrón and plenty of Spanish sparking wine 'cava'. What's not to love about Spanish 'Navidad'?

1. You're still can’t accept those San Ildefonso children sing for euros instead of pesetas

Eliminating so many syllables and not changing the melody is a mistake.

2. You know the ghost of Christmas past are those polvorones and peladillas whose expiration date you’re happy to ignore

You suspect they might be older than you but ignorance is bliss.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

3. Or is it Ramontxu with his cape?

You watch the countdown on a different TV channel to feel more alternative, but you know it’s not the same.

4. You’re either on Team Papá Noel or Team Reyes Magos

Unless you belong to the third fortunate group – those people receiving gifts from all of them!

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

5. Every New Year’s Eve your life flashes before your eyes by the 10th grape

Your mouth is full, a grape is already trying to go down the wrong pipe, and you know your relatives are too focused on their own survival to realise what’s happening. In the end, as usual, you’ll spit out the grapes and save your life.

6. And you still don’t fully understand the quarter chimes part

You keep getting nervous thinking you’ll start too late or too early.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

7. You’re convinced the news stories about the caganer and seafood price are the same year after year

Why send a reporter out to cover the news when you can just use last year’s footage?

8. No matter how hard you try, you never manage to pay attention to the King’s speech

It’s automatic – the King starts talking, your mind goes on vacation.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

9. You think you’ll never get used to seeing Felipe there instead of Juan Carlos

But you’ll keep watching year after year, expecting him to make the internet explode by saying something fills him with pride and satisfaction.

10. You’ve suffered an indigestion caused by prawns

It’s always their fault or the mayonnaise’s – never the wine’s, champagne’s or shots’ with which you accompanied the meal.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

11. You miss the bald man of the Lottery

But you value the risky leap they took two years ago with Raphael and Montserrat Caballé (and thank the world for the existence of GIFs).

12. You know where the Famosa dolls go

Antena 3, of course.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

13. You’ve sat through more than one Inocente, inocente program

And more than a few telethons hosted by Isabel Gemio or Emilio Aragón.

14. You miss Martes y Trece

Oh, the empanadilla.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

15. You’ve considered dressing up as a cava bubble for Carnival

Your friends who love you talked you out of it.

16. You have a favourite turrón

You either love or feel disgusted by turrón blando.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain

17. You think having to work on 7 January is cruel

Why can’t you stay in and play with your new toys now that you’re an adult?

18. The New Year’s concert and ski jumps are your New Year’s hangover official sponsors

Your parents found it funny to torture your ailing brain by turning up the volume of the music. The hypnotic nature of the jumps was just perfect for your state, though.

19. Your eyes well up to the sound of 'vuelve… a casa vuelve…'

Especially if you live abroad and can’t make it home for Christmas.

19 signs you grew up celebrating Christmas in Spain


Ana Bulnes / Reprinted with permission of Matador Network.

Ana BulnesAna decided to become a journalist when she was 16 because she wanted to travel and get free tickets to gigs and music festivals. After spending a few years claiming she would live anywhere but in Spain, she is back home in Vigo, thinking it's not that bad after all. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


Photo Credits: Jorge Díaz (polvorones), JEDIKNIGHT1970 (Reyes Magos), Presidencia de la República Mexicana (King and Queen of Spain), jacinta lluch valero (Famosa doll), juantiagues (empanadillas), Jonathan Pincas (turron).

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