The Christmas and New Year celebrations remind me of my childhood. My grandmother´s festive table was magnificent with embroidered table cover, silver cutlery and sparkling crystal glasses.
In Argentina these festivals fall in the summer. For people in Spain and northern Europe this would feel strange with no snow and hot, sunny days. The children write cards for Papá Noel and put them under the tree. The tree is decorated as if it was winter. Papá Noel has always been celebrated in Argentina since I was a child. Of course we also celebrate the coming of the Kings.
On the night of the 24th the family have dinner together. Usually we will eat good Argentinian beef. At midnight we have a toast and Papá Noel arrives and leaves presents for the children and also for the adults. When the children are young an adult may dress up as Papá Noel and hands out the presents. We eat dried fruits and nuts and panettone because of the influence of our European ancestors. On the 25th there is so much food left over from the night before that we have lunch together with the leftovers. This is also delicious.
On New Year´s Eve people usually eat with their families and at midnight they will go outside to let off some fireworks and watch other people also letting off fireworks. After this, the young people will go out to clubs and parties to continue celebrating. They would also go out clubbing after Papá Noel has visited on Christmas Eve.
On the 5th of January there is a small parade when the Kings arrive and the children collect the sweets that the Kings throw. At night, before going to bed, the children put their shoes outside the bedroom door. They also leave some water and grass for the camels. In the morning they wake up and open the presents that the Kings have left. Only the children receive presents.
I still enjoy similar celebrations here in Malaga with my own family. My daughter especially loves to see the parade of the Kings which is much more grand than when I was a child in Argentina.