Christmas 2018

Happy Winter!

I hope you had great Christmas! Mine was low key, just me and the cats. If I’m honest I was looking forward to it being just me and the cats. A few days of taking it easy, no having to eat a humongous Christmas dinner (sorry P! You know I’m happier with a salad and minimal fuss), my own schedule. Maybe I’m a Grinch.

Ever since I found out cinemas are open Christmas Day in Spain from late afternoon, it’s become a tradition. Christmas Day Movie! I booked up to the see the earliest showing of Aquaman. Growing up I was never Marvel or a DC Comic girl, I was more Star Wars, Indiana Jones girl. I could never get how Lois Lane couldn’t see how Clark Kent and Superman looked alike. I mean all he did was play with glasses. Out of all the Marvel and DC characters, Merpeople and Atlantis are more believable to me as it’s more legend fantasy. It’s a fun movie although I kept wanting to tap the screen back 10-15 seconds like on YouTube and Netflix to hear bits I didn’t catch. Duh! Spanish subtitles I’ve got good at ignoring so they didn’t help. The only thing I didn’t like was the amount of botox or fillers Nicole Kidman’s forehead’s had. Not a wrinkle in sight during close ups. Seriously her forehead didn’t move which makes us mortals feel a little inadequate. It’s her face, her choice, she has the money. Her braids however goals! The perfect spent all day at at the beach and in and out the sea braids. It’s a long movie though, over 2 hours so that was another thing I couldn’t do, pause to go pee.

Another Christmas tradition’s a workout. My gym’s open all year round, however I opted for a home workout as I knew I wasn’t going to make the early closing. It’s okay, I enjoyed the morning sunshine a little more. I think the cats have enjoyed Mama being around a little more getting back early the past few days. I was going to go for a bike ride up the coast as well, but I didn’t get up in time.

Saying Hi to the sea before the movies

This year like last year I skipped on a tree. I didn’t want a real one as I can’t just justify chopping down a perfectly good tree to bring indoors, only to be shredded into mulch after dropping it off at tree collection points. There’s nowhere to replant and I haven’t transport to take it out into the countryside to replant it. I didn’t want plastic, being that it’s plastic but I wanted something of a tree. In Muy Mucho I found a wood Christmas tree frame. Yes, it’s wood but I can reuse it next year. I wrapped tree lights around creating branches across the middle. The side’s weren’t as even as I’d have liked but that’s what you get doing it last minute Christmas Eve. It was a mission putting them on so unwrapping them to start again wasn’t going to happen. I knew I wanted to add decorations but had no vision which ones until I opened the Christmas drawer. The first set of baubles I saw were small red and gold stars I forgot I had. Perfect! I kept it simple sticking just to the stars. Okay, confession time. I’ve had the tree a few weeks and did last minute Christmas Eve so it had to be simple.

Christmas Eve’s tradition’s que sorpresa if I can is the zoo! Normally it’s quiet as everybody’s last minute shopping or getting ready for Christmas Eve Dinner (Spanish tradition. The UK everything’s Christmas Day). I don’t care how old you are, that you know Father Christmas or Santa’s a fairy tale, there’s something about Christmas Eve that has a glimmer of magic. Being outside surrounded by nature you feel or I do that there’s a little magic in the air. Christmas Eve magic also helped me get to the gym early and leave early to make last zoo entry. Leaving the gym while it was still light and early was a feeling of accomplishment in itself. Saying no to my phone’s the key. Everything I want to look at will still be there later. 

Near Winter Solstice moon

Boxing Day or Sant Esteve was a normal day albeit getting back early from you guessed it the zoo. I wanted to be outside and it was the only place I could think of where nature wasn’t blended with grey within easy cycling distance.  

These guys are always either playing, talking or trying to sleep!

Caga Tió, Tió Navidad or sh*t log a Catalan Christmas tradition. Leading up to Christmas kids feed the log sweets. Christmas Day while hitting it with a stick they sing a song asking it to poop presents!. It’s true! I think this one lost an eye last year.

The zoo’s recently been my sanctuary as I’ve been going a little more than usual. At the moment it’s not for the animals. They’re nearly all tucked up in night enclosures when I go. It’s to be surrounded by greenery, hearing birds, reconnecting with nature the best way I can in a city. Maybe as I’ve recently been feeling overwhelmed, I can forget about things and just be for a while. No one to answer to except time telling me they’re closing or that time’s going so fast, enjoy the now while attempting to workout the future. It’s like two worlds. The noisiest residents are the sea lions, flamingos, peacocks, big cats and visiting sea gulls however as soon as you walk out the last set of entrance gates the ambient air changes. The zoo’s not perfect. I’d like many enclosures bigger yet walking through those gates you’re hit with city bustle and the feeling of calm disappears. Like you never even went.

How was your Christmas and Christmas week? Do you have a place to escape Christmas madness?


  1. […] just me so I only had a few decorations up. If I could have been bothered I’d have used my wood Christmas tree from last year. I can’t justify chopping down a good tree to take indoors to decorate then […]

  2. […] Christmas, ringing in the New Year was low key. Thanks to TVE1 en directo on my phone, the cats and I rang in […]

  3. says:

    I cooked a simple Christmas Eve dinner and got presents for husband, baby and PIL (first time ever! we’d never done Christmas presents before). However the evening was not too long as there was unfortunately a death in the family a couple of days before and I had to spend Christmas day alone while they were all in the cremation ceremony (no babies allowed as Chinese believe children under 3 can see ghosts). Then we attended the funeral dinner on Christmas evening… yay…

    Your tree looks great! I am not a fan either of overboard Christmas but I feel like it would be unfair not to pass on these traditions to my son…

    1. says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about a death in the family. I hope your PIL are okay.

      I know exactly how you feel about traditions. You want to carry them on, but sometimes you have to update them! How did your cooking go?! P asked what I ate Christmas day. I replied leftovers to which he said leftovers are today (Sant Esteve). It took me a mo to realise that the 26th and for the rest of the week, lunch and dinner are Christmas dinner leftovers!

  4. […] environment and her latest passion these past couple of years is Obstacle Course Races. In the post Christmas 2018 she writes about her low key, non excessive […]

    1. says:

      Thank you for the shout out!
      Wish you and your family Happy New Year and a great 2019 ahead!

  5. says:

    Hi Natalie. Love and much respect for the simplicity of your Christmas. Your tree is awesome. My daughter came up from New Zealand and will be leaving in a few days. Been great having her here. Wishing you all the best in 2019! 🙂

    1. says:

      Thank you! It was great your NZ daughter could be with you for the holidays.
      The tree comes down tomorrow. I’m happy sad. Happy I get space back, sad the evenings won’t be as bright. It’s okay. The days are getting longer! YAY!

      1. says:

        I love that the days are getting brighter as well! 🙂

      2. says:

        Me too! But you know that!

    2. says:

      Wishing you and your family a Happy 2019!

Leave a Reply