We spent Xmas in Chiclana de la Fontera, in the South of Spain, near Morocco, with my aunty Gigga Jenny, Aunty Vuina Sally and Uncle Chich George.
They have those names at the start of their names because they mean aunt and uncle in Macedonian. Gigga Jenny is not a real word for an aunt but I couldn’t say ‘Thitsa’ (which means ‘loveable aunty’ in Greek) when I was little so I ended up calling her Gigga – now all the family call her that.
We also had friends from Australia – one of them was a friend from Australia who we’ve seen many times – Millie Parkes – she was travelling around Europe and wanted to spend Xmas with us. Also her friend Darcy came to spend Xmas as well. Darcy is really really good at drawing – especially letters – she drew us some ‘Merry Christmas’ signs and it looked like it was printed. She also plays AFL women’s football and was very very good at catching. She taught me how to do dives when catching balls like in cricket and I got very good at it in just one day – we did it at the beach, so it was easier on the sand than on the hard dirt!
On Xmas Eve we had the best Xmas Eve you could imagine. We went ice skating in Chiclana. It was really really fun – I fell over a lot but I was really good at getting up once I fell and I became quite good at skating.
One funny thing was – it happened a couple of times too – when someone fell over and made a big noise I was concentrating on the ice but I would look up and then fall over myself. There was music that you could skate to and the blades were really cool. I was really fast at ice skating but I fell over lots so I need to do some practising.
After ice skating we went and saw big Xmas lights and we even went to a cafe that we knew had WIFI. Even though the shop was closed (because it was Xmas Eve and the town was very quiet because the Spanish celebrate with a big meal on Xmas Eve with their families).
We went into the sheltered bit of the outside part of the cafe and they had left their WIFI on and we got to watch our email videos that Santa Claus sent (or Papa Noel in Spanish) – they were really fun to watch – the elves were so funny – one of them was so funny that when they were saying goodbye he would make himself look really strong and have a naughty laugh.
Everyone got on Santa’s nice list but I’m sure that Yasi and Kalika almost got on the naughty list. We were all given a thing to focus on to be even better kids – mine was to be nice to my brothers and sisters. We got home pretty late and we all got ready for bed.
Before bed I put some milk out and a piece of cake and biscuits for Santa and some lettuce and tomatoes for the reindeers. I even wrote him a letter and he replied in mainly Greek!
There were so many questions that you want to ask and we only get to ask him once a year – some of my questions that I wanted to ask him next year:
How do you get your elves and how many are there?
What do you do apart from watching your elves make presents all year round?
In your videos you show us a book about us and I want to ask if you have just a few things written down or if you have a book for every child with pages full of all you know about them.
I’ll have to try and remember to ask these things next year at Xmas.
On Xmas day I woke up pretty early. All the adults were given an 8.30am wake up call – we had give them a one minute warning call and then at 8.30am we shouted the place down saying 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1!
Everyone came down and we were excited that Santa had been – he wrote a letter (mostly in Greek) and said the chocolate cake was delicious and the reindeers loved the tomatoes and lettuce.
We opened our presents – my first present was some plain black jeans and I also got a pack of dominos and a scrabble card game. The other two presents were monopoly in Greek in a beautiful wooden box and I also got chess and backgammon game (in Greek it’s called Tavli) with the most beautiful bits of detail I have ever seen on wood.
From my Vuina Sally & Chich George & Gigga Jenny I got an iPod case (but unfortunately it was the wrong generation and didn’t fit my iPod) and a onesie – a onesie is pyjamas in one piece and it had a skeleton print on it and it even glows in the dark – it’s so cool.
One time I was wearing it when the power went out and the onesie glowed and gee how it glowed – so bright. I also got a pencil case and a note pad from Mille and her mum Jeanette Parkes from Australia.
And I got the best things ever from mum and baba – a Barcelona FC T-shirt and shorts and my very own gel for my hair. Wasn’t a big packet but it will do as I only use it on special occasions like Xmas. After we opened our presents we called my Grandma & Pa in Australia – it was 7 pm at night there and I spoke to everyone and they also got one of the best presents I can ever imagine – my Grandma normally gives all the kids a big sack of presents but this time instead, my Pa and Grandma got everyone a pool table to use at Somers. They were even give a table tennis table from one of their friends. It was really exciting to hear their voices. I couldn’t believe that when we went to bed at 10pm on Xmas Eve they were already opening their presents.
We had breakfast really late – I called it brunch – we kind of had two brunch a – the first was at 10am and the 2nd was at about 11.30am. For first brunch we had fruit platter with croissants – chocolate and normal ones. 2nd brunch we had scrambled eggs, with salmon and bread and other yummy things.
We also had a very very late lunch – I called it ‘lunner’ cause we had it at 4.00pm.
For lunch we had lots of things like mushrooms with cheese on top, roasted potatoes, potato salad, rice, chicken, calamari, prawns, peppers. For drinks the adults had a Spanish alcohol drink called Sangria which tasted like cordial. We were allowed to have a little bit of lemonade which was left dorm making the Sangria.
For dessert we had lots of things – summer pudding, chocolate ripple cake, Italian Panattone, chocolate coated pears and of course chocolate coated strawberries. Zoi and Darcy made the chocolate coated strawberries. Everyone helped to cook on the day cause we did it all in stages.
This is the first year that I made the summer pudding mostly on my own. Summer pudding is something we make every Xmas.
I played a couple of games of backgammon (Tavli). We played games and had lots of fun on Xmas day because it was raining outside. After dessert we all sat together and watched ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’. It was really funny – sometimes when Ian asked the brother how to say somethings in Greek he would teach him naughty words. Like at the lunch table he asked him how to say ‘thank you’ in Greek and the brother made him say ‘nice boobs’ to his mother. The other time the brother and cousin taught him to say ‘I have three testicles’ but he thought he was saying – ‘let’s go in to eat now’. So funny. The father was so funny when he was doing his speech at the wedding he said the family his daughter was marrying into was called Miller and that is short for ‘milo’ which means ‘apple’ in Greek. Their name is Portokalis which comes from the Greek word for ‘orange’. He said that ‘apples and oranges are different but at the end of the day we are all fruit’. It was funny.
We also made up a play with my Uncle Chich – we called it ‘The night the Milikings saved Christmas’ set in Chiclana-Cadiz. We wrote the lines and scenes with my Chich. We had it planned for Xmas day but as I thought we were so busy that we actually did it on Boxing Day. Great fun -But that is another story told by another kid – bye for now.
On Boxing Day we went to Barossa beach which was about 5 mins by bus from the house we were staying at.
We played on the playground equipment which was right on the sand at the beach. The beach was on the Atlantic Ocean.
We had a picnic lunch of sandwiches and leftovers from Christmas Day on the sand.
After lunch we played on the swing with my aunty Sally and uncle George – we were on the swings and got on sideways and swinging sideways and then the others had to run through without being caught – it was so much fun. I got caught lots of times. Sally was probably the best at it cause she was sneaky and got through.
The adults had a coffee at the cafe while we still played at the beach as the sun was going down over the water. There were lots of big waves and there were people doing stand up paddling surfing. About 5pm we started to go home and packed our bags so we can leave in the morning. My aunty Sally and Chich (uncle George) made seafood and chorizo paella and mushroom risotto for dinner. It was delicious and we ate lots.
After dinner we performed a play that we wrote with my Uncle Chich – it was called ‘The night the Milikings saved Xmas’. Mummy was the narrator- cause every great play needs a narrator. The story was that Santa (Papa Noël in Spanish) got stuck in the Atlantic Ocean which we pretended was the pool in the Chiclana house. Baba got a text message from Papa Noël cause we were so close that we might be able to help or Xmas would be ruined forever. We didn’t have a car to go to Cadiz (which was the palm trees near the pool) so magically there appeared a car in the driveway with the most beautiful angel – Sally. She drove the car with baba and all of the kids to Cadiz.
On the way we saw two wise women with some signs hitch hiking and baba said – ‘ that’s a sign’, so we picked them up and they came with us to save Papa Noël. We didn’t know how to swim out to the ocean in the rough waters. The two wise ladies said they could help because they knew a special sea angel called ‘Gigga Maroni all fishy and bony’.
She appeared from the water and helped but she couldn’t swim out alone so Sally and my baba helped her. They saved Papa Noël, the reindeers and the sleigh and all of the presents.
The wise ladies gave special gifts to baba, Aunty Sally and Gigga for saving Papa Noël. Giggs’ prize was a gold card with a heart she would share with someone this year. Baba got a lifetime gift voucher to the Apple store and aunty Sally got everything she ever wanted (this is really true about what she wants) – an England visa, a new job and £100,000 gift voucher to the Selfridges department store. So we saved Christmas forever.
It was lots of fun.
In Granada we went to a very very old palace called La Alhambra and it was beautiful. There were lots of art and tiles on the walls. There were lots of gardens and footpaths and plants. It was a pretty cold and rainy day. There were lots of autumn leaves on the trees.
In Granada the streets were old, small, slippery and quite wet, not many cars could go on them.
We had tapas a few times in Granada – like calamari, potatoes, prawns, bread and croquettes with a fish called bacalao.
For Christmas I got some purple jeans, a Greek book called ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in Greek – it’s the first book I read by myself in Greek, dominos and a red puffy vest. My Uncle Chich, Aunty Sally and Gigga gave me a pink bracelet and a One Direction T-shirt which I really like. Mummy and Baba gave me some peach trackydacks and a necklace beaded with my name in Greek. Millie and Jeanette gave me a pink sponge bag to keep my stuff in. It was a really good Christmas. We had a really late lunch but I enjoyed it.
Millie and Darcy our friends were travelling in Europe and it was their first Christmas away from their family, so they came and had Xmas with us. It was really good having them there, they were fun to play with and I liked going ice skating with them.
I’ve got a Spain team tee shirt and I’ve got a Morocco country tee shirt. It’s not a team, it’s a flag tee shirt.
My Lego was my favourite present, it’s a service station in a carry case, I can take it on buses and to cafés, it’s so fun. Our Santa sacks weren’t with us so we put 5 big sheets tied up for Santa to put things in, with our names. There was a letter for Santa, and Toby put milk out, I put cake out and Zoi put the nuts and Yasi put lettuce and Kalika put tomatoes out.
Baba got a new man bag for Christmas so I asked for his old one.
In Australia it’s night time now. My favourite food in Spain was the yellow rice (insert seafood and chorizo paella) that Sally made, and chocolate croissants.
That’s enough, Hasta la vista baby!