To be quite honest I am very glad I live in Spain when it comes to Christmas time. Not for us the frenentic countdown, the dashing in and out of shops, last minute presents etc, the hoarding of enough food to withstand the next ice age.
Yes we have pretty lights in the streets, and the Christmas markets in every town, but the commercialization is nowhere at the level it is in England and the United States. For that I am glad, it keeps the stress levels down. It’s enough just watching the UK TV programmes with their hysterical screams about the one day in the year when you can accumulate even more stuff, to the too-much stuff you already have, and it’s often stuff you don’t really want either.
Here the major day is January 6th, 3 Kings Day. We usually go down to watch our local 3 Kings, as they slog across the sand and then are entertained at the castle by some belly dancers. We all know one is the local postmistress, but everyone turns a blind eye to this. Every year I feel sorry for the half naked dancers, their goose bumps the size of molehills, as they gyrate to the sight of Herod and the kings slurping back the wine.
Then the Kings climb on their motorized transport and pelt the crowd with small boiled sweets as they go off to pay homage to the baby Jesus in the town square.
You need to be careful where you stand in the crowd, as these sweets are the small, hard-boiled variety, and they rain down on you like buckshot. Not that anyone is complaining, as we adults all help the little ones grab them off the road and rescue them before they roll down the gratings and are lost for ever in the storm water drains.
Now I’m not sure if this true, but I’ve been led to believe that the youngest baby born in the area is the one destined to be the special baby. I’m not sure how they choose the Virgin Mary, but she would appear to be aged between ten and twelve. On the three occasions I’ve watched, the poor girl seems frozen with fear as she sits as still as possible nursing her newborn.
But that didn’t happen last year. The newest member of the community had frankly had enough – it was cold, so I don’t blame him – and he was screaming so loudly his real mother came to rescue him. Thus when the 3 Kings appeared around the corner there was no infant in sight.
But hitches like this are not important – and thank goodness we don’t have ‘Elf ‘n Savety’ breathing down our necks freaking out because Mary’s diaz has no safety rails, and neither are the Kings harnessed to their moving vehicle. Now isn’t that refreshing.
The Kings then settle on their stage round the corner, the white van backs up round the next corner, and the presents are unloaded. As the names are called out, each little tot goes up to collect his or her present and get a quick cuddle – no hysteria about paedophiles here, everyone loves children! It’s gets a little fraught towards the end as those few tinies whose presents just happen to be at the front of the van, and so the last to come out, get a little jittery about being forgotten, but at last, everyone goes home happy and smiling.
What a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas! In case I do not blog again before the ‘big day’, I’d like to wish all my friends, family, readers and fellow authors a wonderful Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Contented 2015.