Christmas in Barcelona

Christmas was very small in 2008. Coming from a big haphazard family, I don’t think I have ever experienced such a quiet holiday as Shane and I spent in Barcelona.

Honestly, I love the winter holidays and I look forward to Christmas with great anxiety and happiness. While I enjoy receiving gifts, I really get sucked into the excitement of gathering and making gifts for people. I would venture to say I have a talent for gift-giving.

When Shane and I found out we were actually moving to Ireland, I was obviously stoked. I was also sad to know I would be missing so many birthdays and holidays. I worried that my year would be emptier without the constant celebrating that goes on in my family.

However, Thanksgiving was good. I loved preparing the meal and hanging out with Shane and eating too much. And Christmas was much better than I expected it to be. We had been in Barcelona about 4 days before it came around and had some pleasant familiarity with the city. Everything was quieter, for sure. Everyone was tucked away or off visiting family. But there remained a certain stillness and anticipation that I associate with Christmas.

Our shipment of stuff from the states arrived in Dublin a few days before we left for Spain and that had felt like Christmas, honestly, but I brought our stockings from home and Shane and filled them with little presents. We had taken some time in our touring to go off separately and find some goodies for each other.

Stockings! Shane's has a mouse.

Stockings! Shane's has a mouse.

After stockings, we ate these little biscuits I expected to be like donuts, but turned out to be more like shortbread covered with powdered sugar. And we continued eating a ton of oranges. (Before they left to visit family, our hosts had filled the kitchen with tiny oranges. They couldn’t have known what a citrus fiend I am, but it was awesome. Despite the stomachaches I gave myself from so much citric acid, that is.)

 

After breakfast and stockings, we took the Metro to the beach. We didn’t think the subway would be running, but we could hear the thundering trains from the house. We wandered along the Mediterranean, enjoying the sandy beach, (as opposed to the rocks we pass off for a beach at home). Shane rolled up his jeans and went in for a wade. He told me it wasn’t cold, which he always says, but it really wasn’t very chilly.

Crystal clear water.

Crystal clear water.

We wandered around awhile longer, noticing which shops and businesses were open. Back at home, I prepared marinated broiled tofu, baked potatoes, broad beans, pesto, and garlic bread. For dessert we had a Chocoestrella cake I picked up at a health food shop. It was delicious: yellow cake with chocolate chips and a hint of tangerine and lemon.      

Yum

Yum

Later on, we got to talk to families on the phone and hear the familiar sounds of chaos in the background. Things were actually nuttier than usual, because the Pacific Northwest was in the midst of an incredible bunch of snowstormy weather.  

We decided it was nice to have a break from the madness.                                                                                  But I’ll be glad to be back in the middle of it next winter.
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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    kimmykokonut said,

    Yay for Barcelona! I loved that city and would return there over any other city in Spain. I’m glad you two had a good holiday. Sometimes it’s nice to have a holiday alone, just the two of you…it won’t always be like that! 😉


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