Home is finally decoratedand looks like Christmas. The Nativity scene is in the middle of the living room, the tree cannot welcome any more ornaments and we even have some snow in the streets. As every year in December, the Advent calendar opens every single morning and gives the kids a small treat. I must say that our “little kids” are 19, 17 and 14 years old. They love this Christmas tradition as much as I do.
Christmas is my favorite season in the year!
Christmas at home is a big issue. All the family gets together to go to Mass on Xmas Eve, each one of us wears a brand-new garment (it is the tradition). After the service, we all have dinner with my in-laws. Little presents wait for everybody on the perfectly set Xmas table. My mother in law decorates the table with mistletoe and red Christmas balls. The old silverware has been polished to perfection. The finest crystal is aligned, first the glass for water, then the one for red wine, then the white wine glass and of course the Champagne flute stands out from the rest.
Dinner is not just a dinner, it is a banquet. We start with the appetizers: grilled foie-gras with apple compote, hard boiled quail eggs over a soft pea soup, baked baby potatoes with homemade curry mayonnaise, and many other incredible delights. Then is the moment for the soup, the salad, the monkfish, and of course the lamb. Once you are done with all of these we have desserts. Yes, in plural, desserts… Fruit salad, Xmas cake, and Xmas pudding. If you thought that was it, well you are wrong. After dinner we have Xmas cookies and Xmas candy to eat with the coffee. Maalox where are you?
Unfortunately, this year, due to COVID 19 it is going to be a very different Christmas. Only one couple per family will be able to attend Mass in representation of all the family. Those incredible family dinners are not allowed anymore. A maximum of six people from two different households can get together for dinner. We even have a curfew, everybody must be home by one o’clock in the morning.
Is this pandemic going to ruin our Christmas Spirit? I guess the easy answer is yes. Christmas in COVID times sucks!
But what if we go back to basics? I have recently learnt from an amazing Podcast called Scottish Bletthers that Christmas, stands for The Mass of Christ. Maybe we need to rethink the humble image of a young couple having a baby in a stable. They didn’t need shiny silverware, nor grilled foie-gras to be happy. Nowhere in the Bible, it is said that baby Jesus was wearing brand new clothes. The holy family were full of Joy, they were together, they were healthy and they had a roof over their heads.
This year we have to make the effort to feel blessed. We have our families (maybe via Zoom, but they are there). Thank God we are healthy and the vaccine is almost ready. And let’s never forget that we all have a home.
Maybe this year, Christmas is beginning to look more like the real Christmas!
In order to cheer your Christmas traveling spirit, we have created a very Spanish Christmas playlist on SPOTIFY . We hope you enjoy it!
If you want to read more about Christmas in the BAsque country, here is a link to a couple of articles we have writen. Cooking Polvorones & Olentzero, the Basque Santa