According to my Instagram, I have now been in Spain for 81 days. Last week, I went to watch the Christmas lights being switched on in the city centre of Santander, marking the countdown to Christmas. I will be spending my Christmas in the UK, something that I usually hate since I am a real 'Scrooge'. However, having been in Spain for nearly three months, I have realised four things that I really miss about Christmas in the UK.
1. Advent calendars
Although I have seen them on sale in shops here in Spain, not one of my students or friends here has bought one. Meanwhile, my friends in the UK have all been posting photos of their Cadbury advent calendars on Facebook and Instagram, celebrating the start of December. Because who doesn't want the excuse to eat chocolate every day for a month?
2. Roast potatoes
Although I do not eat them regularly in the UK, since arriving in Spain their absence has really upset me. I have realised that roast potatoes, truly the king of the Christmas roast, are really, really underrated.
3. Christmas songs
I really, really hate Christmas songs. But after living in the UK for 20 years, I have come to expect hearing Slade's 'Merry Xmas Everybody' when I walk into any shop during December. And so now, having not heard a single cheesy Christmas song in Spain, I am beginning to find that I actually miss them.
4. Being with the family
When I moved to Spain, I knew that the hardest thing would be leaving my loved ones behind in the UK. However, with Christmas, a family holiday, fast approaching, it is really hard to come back to my flat and not hear my sister singing Christmas songs or see the Christmas tree that we have decorated together. Christmas reminds you that no amount of delicious Spanish tortilla can replace being with your family.
That is why this year Christmas will not begin for me until I sit down beside them on 25th December to eat my roast potatoes, open my final advent calendar chocolate and watch Doctor Who.
Do you celebrate Christmas in your country?