As Auntie Mame sang, “We need a little Christmas, Right this very minute… Candles in the window, Carols at the spinet.”
|POINSETTIAS PLANTED IN PLAZA NUEVA.
I WONDER IF THEY WERE SHIPPED FROM SAN DIEGO, HOME OF THE POINSETTIA.
No candles in the window for us. We gave away our (electric) taper candles when we left San Francisco. They looked perfect in the windows of our Cape Cod–style home in Guilford, Connecticut, where it was a very common tradition. They looked a bit peculiar in most of our places after that. Here in Sevilla, when I look in windows (bakery windows, that is), I don’t see candles but I do see lots of turron. Most English speakers know turron as nougat. It’s thought to have originated here among Iberian Muslims during the Christian reconquest of Spain. It’s popular year-round, but especially during Christmas when you’ll see many varieties. Turron is typically made of honey, sugar, egg white, and almonds or other nuts. It’s a great ice cream flavor.
|TURRON. I THINK I’LL TRY ONE OF EACH (AT LEAST) THIS YEAR.
Getting back to the song. So, no candles. No spinet either. We sold our last piano before leaving Santa Barbara in 2007. Jerry has toyed with purchasing something here, but no action taken. I used to love to listen to him play. I’m a bit rusty, but I’m sure with some practice I could once again deliver a good basic “Chopsticks” or “Heart and Soul.” With a bit of work, I could probably even remaster “Summer Time is Here Again.” That’s a bit more difficult because it requires rolling my entire fist over the keys.
|SAN GERALDO WITH TERÉ AND MIGUEL.”WE’RE FREEZING! JUST TAKE THE PICTURE!“
HARD TO BELIEVE THE TEMPERATURE WAS 10C/50F.
So, I’ve established the fact that there are no candles in our windows. There is also no spinet. But even if we had a spinet, Carols could still present a problem. My cousin Carol and our friends Carol (and even Carole) live several thousand miles away. We don’t know any Spanish Carols… Oh wait, wrong kind of “Carols.” On second thought, maybe there’s still hope for the carols.
|CAN YOU SPOT THE MAJOR AMERICAN FILM STAR IN THE PHOTO?
I HADN’T EVEN NOTICED HIM UNTIL I DOWNLOADED THE PHOTO FROM MY CAMERA.
No matter what, I definitely need a little Christmas. I’ve been having a bit of a challenge motivating myself to get out of bed in the morning. The decorations have been glowing all over town for a week, but most out-of-towners and working stiffs hadn’t seen them. So, everyone and his brother were here Saturday evening (Día de la Inmaculada) for the official lighting outside City Hall. I have never seen the streets so crowded. In my complete ignorance, I had the brilliant idea that San Geraldo and I should go out for a walk at 6. The lighting was at 6:30.
|PLAZA NUEVA. MORE CROWDED THAN NEW YEAR’S EVE.|
Given where we live, there was no avoiding the mobs of people. Most were out to see the lights. Many were out to get lit at the nearby clubs. I’ve had many brilliantly ignorant ideas in my life, but this was a real winner (maybe that’s why my father used to always call me “a real winner” as he shook his head in amazement… or, perhaps, frustration). Anyway, it was at least nice to see the lights before night had completely set in. Much better for photos. Poor San Geraldo decided to escape more quickly while I snapped away. I know many routes home (which San Geraldo has refused to learn), so he headed right up the busiest pedestrian street in town. He survived.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are minor here compared to El Día de Los Reyes (the Day of the Kings, or Epiphany), January 5 (eve) and 6. Santa Claus (Papá Noel) is traditionally not very common here. Delivery of gifts is left to the Three Kings. But, we’re not waiting until then to start celebrating. We start with an early holiday dinner with friends tomorrow night in Triana. Since we did the same last year, San Geraldo would say it’s an annual tradition.
|I’VE TOLD THE BOYS IT’S TOO SOON TO BE WATCHING FOR THE THREE KINGS.
DO THEY LISTEN?