(No, you’re not going mad – I did forget to post this entry and posted it out of sequence, dated for the day that was intended.) 😉
Following an absolutely stunning Christmas Day, our Boxing Day was pretty low key. The weather remained dry, though unscintillating, so we chose to work off a few calories by walking through the vineyards on the valley floor all the way to Jalón (a.k.a. Xaló, in the Valenciana language) and back. Jalón was closed and very quiet but that was to be expected, being siesta time.
Since there was little else of note, I thought I’d take the opportunity to publish a few pictures of typically Spanish Christmas items, starting with what appears to be a favourite type of window decoration depicting an unusually perfect baby, just as one might expect to find in a manger alongside the donkeys following the very recent Immaculate Conception. The banners vary a little in that the wording used may change but the religious message remains clear.
In addition to the usual plethora of Santa-climbing-up-ropes to deliver presents, the Spanish are also fond of their three-kings-climbing-up-ropes. These must either be regal cat-burglars intent on pinching the presents just delivered by Santa or they are also attempting to deliver presents, as, according to one international best-seller, they did to the baby Jesus 2008 years ago. It all seems indicative of some confusion as to just who delivers the seasonal presents here in Spain. The Spanish do have a Three Kings celebration on the evening of January 5th (twelfth night) which we hope to see, preferably in Denia where it is supposed to be staged very well. The spoiled Spanish brats [bah, humbug!] get additional presents for this twelfth night festival. Perhaps, then, Santa is delivering the Christmas presents whereas the Three Kings are delivering the twelfth night presents. Who knows?
Christmas in Spain also comes with some traditional Spanish sweet treats. These seem to consist largely of some almond elaborations covered in chocolate. At least some of them are called mantecados and, being attractively and individually wrapped, they look quite appealing and impressive. I’m glad I’ve tried them but I wouldn’t rush out to try them again. They are a poor substitute for a box of Thornton’s chocolates, in my opinion. Of course, almost anything beats Quality Street, with the exception of Cadbury’s Roses 🙂