25 December 2007

Merry Christmas, Bon Nadal

A very merry Christmas from Barcelona! Here the sun is shining and Papa Noel has already visited, leaving two little delighted girls with fairy princess costumes, a scooter, and a miniature iron/ironing board. They are dancing around and waving their wands, the two-year-old announcing in her best tiny announcer voice, "Senyors i senyores, mireu els pallassos!" (Ladies and gentlemen, look at the clowns!) In turn, we are each dragged to our feet and made to play the clown.

We also found ticket-sized presents in the stocking hung at the mantel, a nod to American tradition, and the Mister and I and our brother-in-sister in law are going to the theater on Friday!

The Mister, sneaky guy that he is, made sure Santa visited my pillow, under which I found a slender volume of Christmas Catalan poetry AND the classic Spanish cookbook, 1080 Recipes, newly translated into English and lavishly illustrated with colorful drawings. Boy Santa sure knew what I wanted, and I didn't even write a letter!

Later in the day, we will have an afternoon meal that will no doubt burst some buttons, and then we will take turns singing songs asking the tiĆ³ to poop us out some presents. Lifting the blanket that covers his rear end will reveal some brightly wrapped gifts, unless we haven't behaved and we find only onions or salted fish.

We also will connect with our Vermont family in their snowier corner of the world, and watch as they open some presents, perhaps from the box that arrived from Belgium. Last night we also video conferenced the two families, after a tasty Christmas eve meal cooked by our brother-in-law. The little ones looked at each other on the screen, our nephew in his adorable suspenders looking a little scared and wide-eyed as our niece excitedly tapped his image, saying "Hola!!!" I couldn't hear much in either direction, and as I tried to translate for approximately a dozen people at once, I ended up saying things in English to the Catalans and in Catalan to the Americans, but I think everybody was happy just to see each other and wish each other a merry Christmas.

Which is what I wish you, dear reader, wherever you are. I hope your Christmas is full of joy and love, the warmth of family, and the peace of God.

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