Navidad 2007

December 26, 2007 By: erik Category: Family, Mondragon, Photos, Spain 826 views

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In Spain, the most important time around Christmas is the family meal on the evening of the 24th, called Nochebuena.
Ready for meal

By noon on the 24th, the table was already set for the dinner that would happen ten hours later.


My sister-in-law sends an email to my mother.

Then we went to the Centro Extremeño for some Christmas carols.


…y celebramos juntos, la llegada del niño dios!


Similar to the Santa Cat Burglar epidemic, in the Basque Country they hang Olentzeros. Olentzero is a coal miner that brings Basque kids presents on Christmas morning instead of Santa Claus. The Basques just have to be different, you see.

Family Meal

Everyone seated for the meal.

Olive pit butterfly

This olive pit attracted a butterfly…or is in the other way around?

�am �am

What a great way to serve mayonnaise: you have to pull down í‘am í‘am‘s trousers and squeeze him until he excretes a fine white cream all over your food. Who comes up with these things??


I figured that, after the last caption, you were ready to see a big slab of chocolate mousse.

On Christmas Eve, we played bingo until about 4:30 AM. I was the banquero who took the money for the cards and called out the numbers. It was good practice for my Spanish number pronunciation (1-90, anyway). Bingo would be a good game to play in a class teaching foreign language numbers.

I got up at 12:45 PM on Christmas day, opened some presents, and then it was time to go back to Grandpa’s house to attack the leftovers.Drunks

Aunt Manoli and my mother-in-law finish off the champagne.

Wine Pear

Aunt Marga had boiled a couple dozen pears in some frustratingly good quality red wine and some cinnamon sticks for a few hours the night before. The result was delicious!

Cinnamon Brothers

Mmmm! Wine-soaked cinnamon sticks….

Sleepy Juan

More bingo commences and Juan dozes off with an unjustly incriminating foreground.

All-in-all it was a pretty great family holiday. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any singing, but we had a good time. Olentzero brought me a bathrobe and a snowball among other things.

  • Your holiday sounds very similar to mine! And I also love calling out the numbers in Bingo. You have to remember to say “seis-siete” instead or “sesenta y siete” or else the old people get confused and think it’s “setenta y siete”. We also had a marathon poker match that lasted all Christmas afternoon…

    Merry Christmas desde el sur!

  • Yes, I tried to enunciate as best I could with the 60’s and 70’s and usually ended up saying both (e.g. “sesenta y siete, seis siete”). I think catorce and quince are two of my favorite Spanish words. And whenever 33 came up, old Grandpa would shout “Edad de Cristo!“. No doubt they have rhymes for most numbers like the serious bingoers in English do. When I took a break and one of the younger cousins did the numerical announcing, there seemed to be some giggling that implied that there might be a dirty rhyme for numbers ending in “cinco”, but I sure don’t know what it could be.

    When you say “poker”, do you mean what Americans call poker with 52-card deck or do you just mean “gambling with cards” in general? Baraja? There’s plenty of card gambling in my political family, too, but no one owns a deck with spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs. It’s all baraja.

    Feliz Navidad back down to ya, Sarita!

  • 1) WHY is that mayonnaise vessel not in IWUS?
    2) In my first year of Spanish, in grade 7, we did play bingo as a way of practicing numbers. I also learned ‘espacio libre’ that way.

  • 1) That mayo vessel is in IWUS. It has been from the initial upload.
    2) How is “free space” part of Bingo? Wait, nevermind. The middle space is free in American bingo, I guess.