Friday, January 4, 2013


Two days before Christmas (on Sunday, 23 Dec), we had a "family day" to celebrate Sergio and my host mom´s birthdays. We went into Ponferrada in the morning and met up with the rest of the family (the majority of our extended family lives in Ponferrada) to "tomar algo" (coffee, wine, etc.) After, we went to an Italian restuarant and ate lunch, it was delicious. We then walked around for a little bit and went home. It was a great day spent with my family.

Christmas Eve and we had the whole family over at our house for dinner, now, allow me to remind all of you that dinner here is normally around 9 or 10pm, doesn´t last too long, and isn´t a very big meal. When you have family over, though, it becomes a big meal, that starts at 10, and lasts for about an hour or so...but that is just the eating part. One of my cousins brought over the Wii, so some of us played that for a while and the rest of the family played the cards. Playing cards is a tradition in our family, it is something that they always do when there are family gatherings (it is a specific game, but I don´t know the name of it). There were other board games we played, and the family didn´t leave until almost 5am. Two of the cousins stayed the night and the 5 of us (2 cousins plus Sergio, Raquel, and me) decided to watch a horror movie. I lasted about 30 minutes then went to bed.

Christmas in general isn´t a huge deal here like it is in the US, some families don´t really celebrate it and it is simply another family gathering. The important holiday they celebrate in Spain is Los Reyes Magos (The Three Kings, but we´ll get to that later). Christmas morning (more like "day") we woke up very late, opened a few things under the tree and got ready for the family to come over again for "comer," which is the biggest meal of the day normally eaten around 2 or 3pm. The family came over about 3 and we ate then after we played cards, Wii, and more games. They didn´t leave until about 7, then I talked to some of my family back home, watched a movie and went to bed. It was really nice to talk to my family in CA. Everyone here kept asking me if I missed them, and while of course I do miss them, I feel so at home here with my family and my extended family have been as equally welcoming as my host family that having all these people over wasn´t awkward or weird, it was so much fun!

I would have to say my abosulte favorite holiday memory from this year was Christmas Eve. We had just finished eating and we were singing Christmas songs around the table and all of sudden my host grandpa´s "jam" comes on and he just starts singing like no one is there, at the top of this lungs, not holding anything back. Everyone just starts laughing, but doesn´t stop him, he sings even louder. It was wonderful, and it  might seen weird that that is my favorite memory, but man, it was awesome. 

This is Cris. She is one of my new favorite family members. She is such a child at heart and is so funny!

The whole family minus Sergio (he was taking the picture)

The cousins with our grandparents

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