Subject: Re: Christmas in Spain?
I assume from the gist of your posting that you mean American Christmas and not Spanish Christmas, which, as I recall, comes late in January.

We were in Spain in the early 90s arriving Dec. 31. New Year's eve in Madrid was the most wonderful we have ever experienced--paso doble bands playing and dancing in the streets, for example. The tradition is to have some cava (Spanish champagne) and grapes, eating one grape per second as the clock counts the last 10 or so seconds before midnight. What amazed me is how people who obviously had not shirked the obligation to the bubbly could be having so much fun yet be so well-mannered (nobody was performing the common Texas pastime of reverse digestion, for example). I think similar scenes play in other big cities although perhaps with variations--paso doble is probably more associated with Castillian-spekaing Spain than Catalan-speaking Spain (Barcelona), for example.

One thing to be aware of--there are several religious holidays right after New Years, and transportation between cities is limited though busses usually run to take you around cities and to other nearby cities, e.g., Madrid to Toledo. Also, I was told by an employee at the bus station that due to excess celebration, labor strikes are common to avoid working with the headaches that ensue.

Enjoy--we had a wonderful time.

Ira H. Bernstein