Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas the Spanish way (well Spain-glish)

Welcome to today's Christmas around the world post. This is part of a series of post on different blogs organised by Living Life Intentionally.  Click on the logo to take her introduction of the series plus links to all the other blogs (there's also a free e book of activities).

Today we're visiting Spain. As regular readers of the blog know we're a bilingual and bicultural family as The Papa is Spanish. Here is some of the ways we add a Spanish element to our Christmas (so it's more Span-glish!)

The Nativity scene or Belen (literally 'Bethlehem'). In Spain the traditional nativity includes a lot more than just Mary, Joseph, Jesus, shepherds, angel and kings. The whole town is included - craftsmen, bakers, washer women, children... the lot. We've got several Belenes in our house, two which we got when we got married and one which I made for the children to play with earlier this year. See how I made it. Perhaps I need to add more characters to our new Belen! 

homemade nativity

The giving of presents doesn't happen on the 25th Dec as in the UK. Instead 'Los Reyes' (The 3 Kings) bring presents on the 6th Jan. Children leave their slippers under the tree. If they have been good that year in the morning they are filled with presents  (if not they wake up to coal!) In our family we give the children their big presents at Christmas and have a few more stocking fillers on Reyes.

roscon de reyes

At Reyes a special crown shaped sweet bread is eaten. We based our recipe on the one from the Spanish food blog La Manzana dulche de Eva. Here's how we made ours


  1. Think I'd like to try this - when you mix the 2 doughs does it matter how? Meaning knead together or plait?

    1. You need to knead them together (the first dough has all the yeast in so it needs to be kneaded well)or else it won't rise.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I grew up in Madrid and I so miss the holidays there! Where is your hubby from? I Madrid driving downtown to see the amazing lights strong from street to stree and on the back of El Corte Ingles (think super bug department store) are the thing to do. My other favorite part are the special treats taht come out only at Christmas time - Turron (so many amazing varieties of these chocoloate or seet bars) and polverones (powdery cookies of different varieties)

    Your nativity is so beautiful - LOVE it! And the bread looks delicious and so true to what I remember in the fabulous local bakeries!

    Thanks for sharing with us in Christmas Around the World!
    Beth =-)

    1. The Papa is from near Madrid too- small world! I also love turon (but the crunchy kind not the chewy one), I'm not so keen on polverones (but love palmeras and churos - which I know are especially christmassy but I think are yummy!)

  3. Lovely! Thank your for explaining this. Thank you for the step by step photos with directions, I really like how you did that! I hope I get time to try to make the bread. Thanks!


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