Navidad

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Yes, I've been busy.

The Christmas period in Spain is particularly full of mealtime gatherings. Unlike England, Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) tends to be the most important - the whole family get together for a big meal (usually seafood) and some presents later in the evening. Christmas Day then functions more like Boxing Day, which doesn't really exist in Spain.

I was in England however, so got the full three days, with turkey, pigs in blankets and all that, then followed it up with New Year in Spain. Not to mention a huge lunch at a marisquería with friends in Madrid the weekend before or family birthdays. It's a packed schedule. The end of all these celebrations comes with Reyes (6th January, otherwise known as Epiphany in some countries) which is when the majority of presents arrive, courtesy of the 3 Wise Men, who supposedly arrived in Bethlehem on this day with gifts for el niño Jesus. (Well, it makes more sense than an old man in a red and white suit.) In England you hang up stockings to be filled, in Spain you have to leave out your shoes. 

That's also the time to eat the roscón, a sweet, bready, cream-filled dessert topped with candied fruit and sugar. Depending on how many people you're celebrating with, these can be gigantic. Hidden somewhere inside is a prize, usually plastic, and if your slice contains it, it means you get good luck all year. (Or if you have bad luck, it means you get to experience the Heimlich manoeuvre.) That's if you have any room left for Roscón by this stage.