Happy Holidays

I always find that period between Thanksgiving and New Years one filled with angst.    Too much shopping, too many unhappy-looking people buying things they can’t afford, and just too much tension.  There are often high expectations all too often resulting in considerable disappointments.  The exception to that being the few days I spend with my family in Nevada City at the home of my sister-in-law, Mary.  That is the calm in the midst of the madness.

The Family at Christmas

An uninvited guest

Nevada City

Nevada City in the Spring

So,  finding myself in Valencia Spain this year and quite far from family,  I wasn’t sure what kind of holiday season I was going to experience.  To my great delight,  it has been wonderful.

It started with Thanksgiving , shared with friends at our apartment.   It was relaxed and easy going.  Somehow the preparations seemed less complex this year.  Maybe the fact that Brian made two fabulous pies had something to do with it.

Chanukah was celebrated with Zahava and Claus with the traditional  lighting of candles and not-so-traditional “latkes del siglo 21”.

Christmas Eve was spent with Brian, Ofelia, Olivia and Olivia’s mother.  It was a warm and comfortable evening as we sat by the loveliest of Christmas Trees, one with ornaments reflecting the many counties in which they have lived, childhood and family.   As usual the meal was wonderful.  Conversation was filled with laughter and sharing.  Marty entertained us all with a bit of magic.  It was a perfect evening.

Marty with his new friend Dickie the Duck

Marty and Ofelia

Instead of our usual,  “what are we going to do on New Years Eve” dilemma and then choosing to stay home and a try to say awake to watch the ball drop in Time Square on TV,  we are going to one of our favorite restaurants, La Fórcola.  The special menu looksgreat and it is one block from the house.  Perfect!  No drama.

You might notice that there is no mention of shopping or shopping malls.  This has been a mall-free holiday for us.  How fabulous!  Instead it has been a season of enjoying the company of friends  over glasses of wine and good food, as it should be.   I do miss my friends and family  back home, but I am happy to discover how delightful it is to be here.

A Happy New Year to  you all.  May your year be filled with health, happiness, friendship and plenty of laughter.



About susanvida

Happily retired, I now spend much of my time in Valencia Spain. I fill my days with photography, cooking, dining and visiting with friends. In my "former life" I was a Director of Human Resources for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. I am married to Martin Kaplan, who shares my passion for Valencia, food and of course, our daughter, Rachel Sara.
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