Who else misses Christmas as they know it?

(13 Posts)
Bebespain Fri 04-Nov-16 18:40:06

Just been thinking about how Christmas is around the corner...again... and how much I still miss an English Christmas, both the highs and the lows. For some reason it never "feels" like Christmas to me in Spain.

Really miss doing the typical stuff with my children in that Christmas atmosphere that you get back home. Even though I replicate as much of what I miss as I can, it just isn´t the same. I´m sad.

Anyone else...?

OP’s posts: |
andonwego Fri 04-Nov-16 18:42:26

Can you not get back to England for Christmas?

Whereabouts in Spain are you? (Being nosy - I'm moving to Spain soon!)

Bebespain Fri 04-Nov-16 19:11:08


Good question but no, sadly it´s not a possibility any more. We used to go back every year when my Mum was alive.

I´m in Madrid...and you?

OP’s posts: |
andonwego Fri 04-Nov-16 19:13:47

Coming to Madrid smile I'm sorry you're not feeling that great about it - I love the place, and am really excited about moving there.

We'll be there early next year smile

KeyserSophie Sat 05-Nov-16 07:19:23

Yeah- I know what you mean. We live in HK. If we stay here, it's fine but there's none of that lovely pre-christmas slow down that you get in the UK. Boxing Day, everything's back to normal and most locals don't take any extra holiday as it's Chinese New Year a month later and they take it then. You can get a turkey etc but hard to cook Christmas dinner in a tiny HK kitchen and if you get it ready prepped from one of the hotels, it's very Americanised (basically, its a thanksgiving dinner). So yes, my diamond shoes are too tight, and its a massive first world problem, but I miss a good old UK waitrose/ M&S/ dark at 4pm/ midnight mass/ cold walk on the beach/ giant tin of Quality Street/ Eastenders omnibus christmas grin

It is the only time of the year I really feel homesick.

LaBrujita Sat 05-Nov-16 16:21:26

I have family in Spain and we're giving some serious consideration to heading out there ourselves. I thought some of the elements of a Spanish christmas sounded pretty good! Like I hear it isn't overly-commercialised, is that true? Christmassy things only start happening mid-December - bliss, when you consider in the UK the mince pies and polar bear stuff clutters the shelves as soon as the Back to School ranges vanish on September 2nd. Not as much obsession with spending and buying?

As a parent in the UK I can't think of that many Christmas things we do outside the home anymore. The streets are so rammed with shoppers I can't take the kids, even the Christmas markets are no good for them. When I was a kid we went to see the Christmas lights - now I'd risk losing mine in a crush. They can't see a thing. We carry them on shoulders but you'd have to fight through 5 rows of people to get close to a stall. There don't seem to be any local activities anymore, not in my town - libraries are closing, so there are no storytimes here now or events. There are no carol-singing or listening-to-carols events. The shop santas now charge £7-£10!

So, I dunno, you may find that the atmosphere you think is here might not be any more. It feels different to when I was a child and a young teen (and not just because I was the recipient of all the gifts!) But that may be because the Christmas spending frenzy, shops-wise, starts up in September and I think people get tired of it. I would love some local Christmassy gatherings or fun things for the kids and I'd like it to be kept at least to the end of November onwards.

Not even had any snow for years!

Mamatallica Sat 05-Nov-16 16:26:30

Want to house swop for Christmas? You can have the traditional British Christmas with my bloody awful in-laws and I'll go have a nice break in Spain, sounds awesome!


Kuriusoranj Sat 05-Nov-16 16:27:57

I do if I stop to think about it too long. Our 4th year this year and we seem to have evolved a different Christmas which I like very much. It's not the same but it's still lovely.

Apart from the light. I'm used to a hot Christmas by now and anyway we can just whack up the aircon. The real problem is that it's still light at 7pm! Inhuman. How can you veg out in front of the telly properly when it's not even dark? Wrong , I tell you.

InTheDessert Sat 05-Nov-16 17:44:56

I'm gearing up for our first hot Christmas (I legged it back to the UK with kids last year, as DH was working. He's working this year too. And we're staying).
So, it's going to be a dry Christmas. There will be no pigs in blankets (pork free Xmas), and the conversations have already started regarding where to get such contraband such as trees, decorations.......
Turkeys should arrive for Thanksgiving, and they tend to hand around til December, strange that...... Winder what I havnt thought of that I won't be able to get!!! Cake can be fed with tea, apparently.

At least our school is shut (Sun 25th is a working day here). Poor lad next door officially has school shock

For sure, it's going to be different.

Ancienchateau Sat 05-Nov-16 18:33:32

One of the things I miss the most where I live is the build up to Christmas. We have a Christmas market but it is the same every year and they sell the same stuff all over France and people seem to trudge around them with miserable faces like it is some sort of obligation to do so! There is none of the party atmosphere build up like we have in UK. No pantos, carol singing, Christmas nights out or just any sense of enjoyment of life sad It could be any other time of the year really. And then on 26th it's back to work.

Bebespain Mon 07-Nov-16 08:43:43

Nice to get some different perspectives.

KeyserSophie Ancientchateau it is exactly that pre-Christmas build up that I miss, pantos, carol-singing, grottos and Nativities are what it´s all about to me. As for Christmas nights out, I´d forgotten about them blush

As for Christmas not being so commercialised in Spain, sadly times are a changing. It´s not quite as extreme but I just noticed over the weekend how the Christmas lights are starting to appear. Granted, they haven´t been turned on but the preps are made. And the turrones and Christmas sweet treats have been in the supermarkets for weeks now. We´re still getting over Halloween, which has become a huge thing here - bizarre!

OP’s posts: |
trotzdem Mon 07-Nov-16 11:59:18

I prefer Christmas where I am now - but I'm in Bavaria, and the Bavarians really know how to do Christmas grin

Christmas doesn't start til 1st Advent (4 Sundays before Christmas) at all - although there is a discrete aisle of Christmas foods in the supermarkets from around now, it isn't everywhere and in your face - and Glühwein, Lebkuchen and Spekulatious are winter things, necessary as soon as the weather closes in and the log fires are lit (its snowing today...) rather than specifically for Christmas IMO grin

Christmas markets here are pretty good grin I haven't bothered with the big city ones since our first year here - they are horrendously crowded and hideous with children, but I love the village ones, and the ones held in forests especially, and it does snow in December quite often (not always) which makes them extra special.

I prefer confining Christmas to December and not being sick of it by early November as others have said - I am also glad school doesn't dedicate half a term to Christmas Things like in the UK - it all seems such a massive waste of time and over hypes the kids (I used to teach in the UK). Its not really mentioned much in school at all until the very last week before they break up - I find that much better. I often think that UK children are in school such a lot compared to the half days here but in the UK so much of the time is wasted on busy work ... they could have no homework or shorter days if they were more efficient grin Although I don't think that is what UK parents necessarily want!

It helps that I don't miss the obligation to do Christmas with my very religious parents who like to pack 3 church services into the 2 days and have heavily ingrained ritual and fixed timetable for the whole day, and with whom Christmas is rather stressful because my mum finds it necessary to pack a lot in, get every element perfect, and have everyone smiling til their skin cracks constantly, and also has at least one melt down about not being appreciated or having too much (all self imposed) to do on Christmas day... She means well but I prefer Cristmas eve by ourselves and 25th with the in-laws, who just settle in by the fire to spoil the grandkids and eat and drink on Christmas day.

Pantos are the only thing I do miss - I would like to take the kids to one - there was one put on by a very polished Anglophile adults Amateur Dramatics group a few years ago which was really good, and fully booked, but they don't do it every year and my kids don't remember the one a few years ago.

I miss bonfire night and its ridiculously grusome origins (my kids looked at me like this shock when I explained why we have bonfires and fireworks on 5th November) - I looked into taking them back especially to experience a bonfire night and looked up what the best public displays in the UK are reputed to be etc. but it just works out so expensive and there is always the risk of the weather meaning the fireworks don't happen - would be so annoying to have spent hundreds of € on travel and accommodation to go back and show the kids bonfire night and have nothing to show them due to rain/ high winds!

citychick Sun 13-Nov-16 13:28:10

Me! I am, all of a sudden, feeling homesick for the UK.
All the Christmas tv ads are coming out and I've been watching them with a bit of a lump in my throat I must admit. And watching the Strictly highlights on YouTube.

We are in HK too, keysersophie and whilst I love all the lights and the milder weather here, my kitchen is also tiny and very dull to cook in.
So we are buzzing off to Bali this year. And I am so looking forward to it.

BUT, I do miss Xmas day with my parents and brother and his family. And taking the dogs for a lovely walk. And all the food. And the telly.

Ah well, we can't have everything!

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