What a party we had celebrating the holidays this year. Following our hosting Thanksmas, we continued the celebration with our friends here in the village.
Christmas Eve dinner was hosted by Gloria and Yuko at Yuko’s home. A cozy dinner for six of us. Traditional Catalan and Japanese dishes were served along with lots of fun and laughter. We were all enjoying ourselves so much that we were surprised to see that it was past one in the morning. Once we realized this no one made a move to end the evening. It was after two a.m. when we walked home.
Christmas Day morning was quiet in our home. Christmas music playing and time together. The best gift we both could ever ask for.
Kim and Virginia invited us to their home to enjoy the Christmas lunch with their family. Children, grandchildren and friends. Twenty-two of us! Wow! We had such a lovely time being a part of the celebration. Then it was Caga Tió time. I told you about this Catalan tradition in this post last year. Bob was sick last Christmas so this was his first time experiencing this tradition. The joy and excitement of the grandchildren brought back so many childhood memories for me. They’ve (obviously) grown since last year so the excitement was at a new level. Life through the eyes of children…what a treasure.
On Boxing Day, Bob and I went into Sitges and after a walk along the seafront promenade, we had lunch at Alfresco. Xavi opens the restaurant for lunch instead of dinner for Christmas Eve, Christmas and Boxing Day. We were able to spend some special time with Xavi as the other patrons departed. I also got to sign his copy of our book, ‘A Working Title’ which he had bought at the book launch.
A break in the celebrating until New Year’s Eve. Again, Kim and Virginia hosted. We all brought enough food to feed many more than the fourteen of us that were there. Traditional and non-traditional dishes. We also celebrated two birthdays.
Montse made each of us these special gifts with a quote scroll enclosed. A bit of wisdom to carry through the new year.
Just before midnight, we walked up to the church in the village. The original stone alter sits outside having been replaced by an elaborate tile one which now adorns the chapel. Alex brought his party valise so we had a countdown and the strokes of midnight and music afterwards. As tradition is here, when the first strike of midnight is heard you start the eating of twelve grapes. One for each stroke. They must all be eaten before the last stroke of midnight for your year ahead to be filled with good luck. This is not an easy thing to do believe me! After the grapes, more cava was enjoyed. We hugged, kissed, laughed, took photos and jumped rope which was really a string of lights so it made for some really cool photos. Daichi, Yuko’s friend, was amazing at this and reached one hundred eleven times jumping the string lights. Afterwards, we wandered back to Kim and Virginia’s and danced into the New Year.
I know I’ve said it before but we really lucked out on the incredible people in this village. Neighbors who have opened their homes and hearts to us and become the dearest of friends.