On the 8th December the Christmas decorations officially go up here in Spain. The whole of Spain celebrates ´The Immaculate Conception’ which , of course, is the very essence of Christmas; celebrating the birth of little Jesus; a time for us all to remember the importance of the purity and simplicity of friendship and family. I love Christmas!  We went into Valencia to see the lights and I am excited to be able to report that Valencia is looking beautiful. The town hall was lit up as usual as was the Post office; both buildings in this lovely square are beautiful anyway, ; but in the middle of the square there is a lovely christmas tree, surrounded by the flower stalls, which this year are brimming full with flashing balloons alongside the lovely blooms they sell .They have installed one of those lovely old fashioned merry go rounds; everyone was having a lovely time. The Mercado de Colon, a beautiful market built in the modernist style, was full of little stalls selling tiny figures for children to decorate their homes with the nativity scene and we enjoyed an horchata while we watched the people go by. The city was cleaner and more enticing than I have ever seen it and this is one of the things I love about Spain at christmas time; sitting outside enjoying the warm evenings…and just look at the sun we had during the day yesterday!…we all got together to celebrate the birth of one of our nephews, enjoying a paella on the terrace under the palm trees ; which reminded me of Nazareth all those years ago…the warmth of family and friends and the lovely Valencian sun… Joy to the world…Christmas is here!

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