Monday, January 3, 2011

It ain't over 'til the wise guys show up...

I'm back from the land of almost-entirely-no-internet, which was a major improvement on what we used to get. In the past, there was no internet whatsoever to be had at my parents-in-law's house in Cáceres, but this time around I found out that if I stood in the corner on one leg, holding a piece of tin foil over my head with my left hand, I could occasionally catch a fleeting wifi signal.  Since I needed my right hand to hold onto the laptop, I was left to type with my nose, and I'm a pretty slow nose-typer, so in the end I didn't do too much of that. 

I did, however, get to eat and drink more than I thought was humanly possible.  And I got to see the ugliest Christmas lights ever. At first they looked like bats to me, and I thought "WTF? Christmas bats?"

But then I was told that they were inspired by a Velázquez painting called Las Meninas:

I don't know, what do you think? Does this look like the girls in the painting?

In any case, these menina-lights don't seem too Christmassy to me.  Personally, I favor a more traditional snowflake or poinsettia motif for my Christmas lighting, but I'm just weird that way.

Anyway, Chrismas came and went, in spite of the odd lights, and now I'm home and connected again, and the holidays are over...well, almost.  You've heard that thing about how "It ain't over til the fat lady sings."?  Well, in Spain, the Christmas season isn't over until the Three Wise Guys Men turn up, so we've still got a few more days of celebrating to go. 

The 6th just happens to be the traditional day for presents here in Spain, but many people have incorporated Santa into their lives...probably because they got tired of waiting so long to get their goodies.  And us, well, we are weird.  So, being the strange people that we are, we do our presents on New Year's Day.  Why?  Well, we just like to be different.  Okay, not really.  It just happens that we're usually home on New Year's and so it works out better for us.

So, all we've got left to celebrate now is this:

The Roscón de Reyes. This is supposed to be eaten on the morning of the 6th, and it contains a small surprise that is supposed to bring good luck to the person who finds it. It also has a large bean baked into it, and tradition dictates that whoever gets it has to pay for the Roscón.

But we won't be waiting for the 6th on this one either.  The same thing that's happening to all the holiday decorations is also happening to the roscón, and now you can find them earlier and earlier each year. It used to be impossible to find one before January 4th, but this year the bakeries were full of them on the 2nd. That's fine by me, because I just  love me a good Roscón. So I bought one for an early celebration today.

Now just let me whip out a bottle of bubbly to go with it...and maybe then I'll be able to get the image of those Christmas bats out of my head.


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  2. Maybe they are supposed to be angels? I can't say I like them though. The roscón looks good and wiht pretty colors. What is it made of? Let us know who gets the surprise and who the bean ok? Have fun with it.

  3. Hmm, if the lights are supposed to be the girls then they appear to be m-e-l-t-i-n-g. Can't say I care for them, and I'll take your word on the cake, lol.

    Happy Holidays!

  4. I can never remember from year to year who got the choking hazard with the roscón, so I end up paying for it every year. Doh.

  5. The lights look more like a very small girl sitting on top of a very large croissant or baguette ... maybe if you think those HUGE skirts are attractive, you also like lights shaped like strange baked goods. Speaking of baked goods, the roscon looks very tasty, but not as tasty as the Kahlua cake my friend gave me for Christmas :)

  6. Mem: The Roscón is kind of like a big bun and it has candied fruit and sugar on's good! Yesterday, Vio got the present and Carmen got the bean. We ordered two more, one for tomorrow and one for Thursday, so we'll see who gets the presents in those... :)

    SAM: Happy Holidays to you too! Yeah, they do kind of look like they are melting, don't they? I think they should have stuck with something more Christmassy and I'm sure it would have looked better.

    Erik: One of our kids usually ends up with the bean, so we always end up paying for it since they never have any money :D

    Bud: Hmmm, maybe the light designer was just very hungry and everything came out looking like baked goods. :D So, what's the Kahlua cake made of? I've never tried one of those.

  7. Es verdad si es una menina y también es verdad que no pega, y Qué pondrán el próximo año, Sancho Panza? jajajaja
    Yo no soy tan amante del roscón, particularmente me gusta más un panettone, el roscón sin nata no se come en cambio el panettone está bueno incluso solo (yo lo como con mantequilla :D)

    Esto de acá sigue la fiesta hasta el 6 te hace seguir comiendo de todo hasta ese día, jajaja.

  8. How bizzare to have las meninas to light up the town for Christmas. The town I live in here was very traditional this year, very nice. Nice blog, I am glad I have stumbled upon it!

  9. I'm not sure what's in Kahlua cake other than Kahlua, of course! :) I'm sure there are recipes online.

  10. He visto navegando uno peor que este, era un pacman jajajaja.

  11. i agree the christmas bats are weird and do not evoke images of the painting to my mind. that cake does look tasty though!

  12. Giozi: Es verdad, no pegan nada las Meninas...espero que el año que viene pongan algo mas normal. Pacman? De verdad? Y donde era eso? A mi me encanta el roscón, y mejor sin nata, supongo que soy un poco rara. ;D

    Ava: Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll be back. Yes, these lights are just plain weird, but I guess someone wanted to do something different. Glad the ones in your town were nice.

    Bud: Sounds good, I will have to check out that recipe!

    Lime: Yeah, I couldn't figure out what they were until someone told me, which doesn't say much about the talent of whoever made them. And the cake is every bit as tasty as it looks!

  13. So cool that you're imparting all this "regular life to you but big cultural insights to us" stuff. I didn't know one whit of this before.

    me dummm.

    Anyhow, the bats are ugly as hell but appear to be mimicking the upper tier of the young girls' skirts in the painting, eh? Now that's just hard to figger.