Churros and skating for Xmas
´Mummy he came.´
The shout brought the whole house back to the world of the living - Xmas morning – time to open the presents and head off for the much expected Xmas dip. But first things first...from the kid´s shouts it seemed that Santa had indeed pulled off another timely delivery the night before.
Although most of the streets did not induce a real festive atmosphere, what really makes Xmas is the spirit inside. After bringing a day´s work to an end, we dressed up in warm clothes and headed out for a Xmas Eve the highlights of which did not include midnight mass and early morning breakfast.
Plaza Españya, in Palma, was brightly lit with bouncy castles, kiosks selling hot chocolate, mulled wine and a myriad of little things and fun fair shops. We made our way through all this, practically tugged by an eight year old who was out on a Xmas Eve Mission – getting me to ice skate.
What followed were the longest 25 minutes of my life. As I made a huge effort to stay balanced on the thin blades I counted the minutes to the second the instructor´s whistle would bring an end to the torturous experience. However, all in all it was fun especially when you´re overtaken by kids who effortlessly flow over the frozen arena and give you the funniest look when the instructor hands you a penguin to help you maintain some stability, but at least I managed not to fall.
As my ankles protested and eased themselves into ´normal´shoes, we headed straight to the hot chocolate kiosk. The warm taste of churros, covered in sugar and coated in hot chocolate helped forget all about shame and ankle pain, and a mug of warm mulled wine helped the xmas spirit to flow better.
We walked down the roads, some decorated others dimly lit to the parked car. At one corner a band had set up shop as street performers twirled to their music.The open door of a church caught my attention and inside the most bizarre decoration hung from the old ceiling to the columns on the sides. No more than six people were inside lost in prayers or lighting candles. The rest moved around probably like us trying to understand the idea behind the use of those silver discs in a church.
Back at the house, we were faced with a new dilemma. What to leave in the balcony for Santa. A tray came out and a glass of milk and some chocolates were placed on it together with a bowl of water and some carrots for the poor reindeer. The little one headed off to bed secure in the thought that Santa won´t turn up before she´s asleep.
A bottle of lambrusco was drained whilst the last presents were wrapped and placed in the sock and under the tree and then it was bed time for the adults too.
The shout that Santa had arrived, woke up the whole apartment. I begged my eyes to focus and rubbed the ankle still sore from the skating. There had been no midnight mass and neither breakfast in the early hours of morning. But whilst the ´priedka tat-tifel´ was missed, ice skating with an eight year old, wrapping pressies at 23:00h while sipping lambrusco and impersonating Rudolph´s bites on the carrots left in the tray, had made it a special Xmas.
As the turkey made its way into the oven I realised that the red swimming trunks on the bedside chair were the prelude to something quiet cold...but that is another story...