You all know that I LOVE Christmas and this year has been no exception, even with the small “inconveniences”.
I did tick tick tick on everything this past Christmas, tick on the Star Wars movie (with the whole family, including grandparents), tick on the “Olentzero” parade (Olentzero is our Father Christmas), tick on the Christmas Fair (twice!), tick on the fireworks on New Year’s eve, tick on the “3 Kings” parade (pouring down), tick on ALL the family big lunches and dinners and making sure that no crisis happened, the only only thing that I missed was a Christmas song that we always sing at home, since we were really small, named “Pobrin, Pobrin”.
This song was the song my mom and her sister sang when they were small and lived in a tiny village and now it’s a tradition from generation to generation (i.e from my mom and aunt to their daughters and now we are trying to teach it to our son/daughters too). But this time I could not sing it because this “event” always happens on the Christmas eve in our home and this time we were having dinner at my husband’s family, so I missed it. (If you don’t know it and want to listen how it sounds, you have it here … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNzHg9lS5aQ)
Even if it is not Christmas, I also want to share with you one of my favorite songs. I think it’s beautiful and really intense as a Christmas song too, and I thought it was perfect when Jon’s teacher sent it to them via email just before the holidays:
So, in Bilbao, we have what is called Children Christmas Fair (PIN), and it is half the typical fair and half multi-activity with a flat rate of 7-8 eur all day long, which is perfect to cover one of the holiday’s days when is cold and wet. Of course the queues are terrible, unless you go on the Dec 24th or on the 5th Jan, but hey this is another tradition that we cannot miss.
When I was small and my cousins from Madrid came to Bilbao for Christmas, we always were “dropped” there, and even if now we “parents” go with our children, I have to say that I don’t remember (not sure if just my usual lack of memory) if my parents came with us back then, but I don´t remember being with them there. What I do remember is that they gave us 100 pesetas back then just in case we were hungry and we always waited until last minute, and then just before going out we went with the 100 pesetas to the raffle and we bought as many tickets as we could then went out from the Christmas fair with lots of things saying that “they were presents from the shops inside!”….
When my boys are allowed to finally go alone (hopefully in a couple of years time), I think that they will spend all the money in cotton Candy, “their” tradition is to buy cotton candy just once a year in the PIN (and Holly molly, that is such a sticky horrible mess, but have to confess that I also eat a bit :-))
This year, my husband has made wonders after buying himself some additional cooking tools and gadgets (and he still tells me off for the space my chocolate fountain and ice cream maker take…! And I am not allowed to buy a bread maker!, although I still ask for it on every birthday…. maybe one day…..). He has cooked us some delicatessen in low temperature (at least that is not fattening, even if my mom says “Right!!!!!”)
And then the “3 Kings” day arrived….
Jon had been asking for a pet now for several years. He is an animal lover, he would not mind which animal, although he started to realize that there was going to be no animal into our house, so each year he was asked for smaller and smaller animals until this year he said: “Please please please, at least a fish”, and I finally convinced Pepelu to have not one but 2 fishes at home (if we had only one, the situation would end badly with Alex wanting another one).
Pepelu finally agreed to a fish (I think that maybe I gave him no choice… ) so the day after, when at work, I asked my friend Jose if they had pets at home (I didn´t know where to buy a fish), thinking he would say “Of course not! are you crazy?” (they already have 4 children! Which is more than enough beasts at the house…), but….. surprisingly… he said “Well, yes, I have a couple of gerbils which now have had 12 babies… do you want any? :-)”
Of course my first question was: “What is a gerbils?”. He explained that they are like small hamsters, with big feet and long tail, actually more similar to a squirrel, they never grow up and they don’t smell or just very little, so I thought about it (….mmmmm no, I normally don’t think these things properly, or that I am told!) and sent a message to Pepelu saying: “Hey darling, what if we get a couple of gerbils instead of fishes? Jose’s treat”, and I was shocked when I got his reply back “OK”
I couldn’t believe it! He had said OK!!! I looked at Jose and said “He has said ok, he has said ok!!!! Quickly!, 2 gerbils! tell your boys to prepare them, please same gender! and tell them to write down the “use” instructions!”. He then quickly phoned home and talked to his boys, they got really happy and started to prepare them for pickup that same night.
I was so relieved, one present less! Present pick up arranged, talked to my sister in law to hide them until the 6th Jan morning…, all ready.
But of course I should have known that everything could not be that easy…. 15 min later, Pepelu called me and when I picked up the phone he said: “Hey you, I was busy before. What the f… is a gerbils???”, I just replied “Too late, the ball is rolling!!”, I still can hear Jose laughing and him mumbling> “I only said yes to a fish….”
So, there we were, Day D, Hour H, “3 Kings” morning, “presents” day. Jon waked up and quickly went to wake Alex up so I rang my sister in law to tell her to come down with the superstarpresent (thankfully she lives in the same building as we do)
Seriously, it was worth it looking at their faces when they unwrapped the box and they saw the pets.
Jon couldn’t believe it, he looked at them, looked at us, looked at them, looked at us, and suddenly he said “I DON’T WANT A FISH ANYMORE!!”
Instructions were clear>
- Change the grass and base of the cage (pressed paper) once a week.
- Change the water and give them food once a day
- Don’t take them out of the cage for at least a week because they are very small and they can die of fear (literally)
Well, morning after 3 Kings. Jon came crying to our bed very very early because…”Black” had run out of the cage….. (emmmm out of the cage or out of his little hands? and what was he doing up so early!) . The poor thing had gone under the sofa and he could not take him out. So, there we had to wake Alex up too and started the day, as in a safari, with Pepelu lifting all the sofás, and the rest running around after the sleaky quicky thingy until we finally hunted him….
So now NOW I understand the “Gremlins” movie….. Who the h… buys a pet for a child and when giving it to him says what they “CAN’T” do???? You have to communicate the instructions in “affirmative” not in “negative”, i.e > Take them out of the cage after 1 week…..
If we were in the “Gerbils” movie, Bilbao would already be destroyed by the little ones.