Sally VealThe Spanish festive season essentially starts on the day of the Immaculate Conception, on 8th December, with seasonal festivities running all the way up to 6th January. There are many different celebrations that need to be considered during this time, so you will need to plan for all the logistics and costs of entertaining and celebrating the season. A large proportion of British expats return to the UK to visit family over the holiday season, but many look forward to their family and friends coming out to celebrate with them in Fuerte. So, where can you find all that you will need to celebrate in style, and not at too much expense?

Seasonal supermarket bargains

Supermarkets like Lidl and Mercadona already have Christmas offers on everything from food to gift wrap – it’s worth buying them when you see that the special offer is on, as they are likely to cost a lot more once you get closer to Christmas Eve.

Online shopping

Black Friday has spread across the EU from its origins in the US, with a variety of seasonal promotions on everything from fashion clothing, to electricals, to computer games. Keep an eye on the delivery costs when buying online, however, which can vary considerably. If you are planning to post gifts to the UK, make sure you post them early and have a look online at some of the delivery alternatives to the Post Office (Correos), which can often be cheaper.

Food, glorious food!

Fuerte supermarkets usually have a large number of seasonal offers on party and festive foodstuffs. Most people order their fresh turkey from their local butcher. The butcher’s can be very busy over the festive period, so order as early as you can, and don’t be surprised when you see a large queue out the door of the butcher’s shop! Frozen turkeys are still available at the supermarkets, however. You may have to hunt around for the less common items in Spain, like mincemeat, and you pay a premium for these, but on the other hand, you can find a fantastic selection of quality wines, lovely pâtés and foie gras, and a fine cheese priced very reasonably throughout Fuerte.

Are you looking for a real or a fake Christmas tree?

Real Christmas trees are pricey, but there is a wide range of different fake trees available in the shops, which can vary considerably in price – we’ve seen trees ranging from 10€ to 100€, so you should be able to find one to suit your home and budget.

Don’t forget the cost of utilities during the festive season

Of course when you are entertaining or having guests to stay, you will inevitably use more electricity and water. Electricity is particularly expensive in Spain, so suggest to the family that they switch off lights when leaving a room, run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full and encourage showers rather than baths.

The true meaning of Christmas

24th December is the main event for Spain, when families all meet up for a big meal. The festive season is not yet as commercial as it is in the UK, although in recent years, this seems to be changing.

An additional day of fun for the children

Another important day in the Spanish seasonal calendar is 6th January, when there is the tradition of giving toys to children – although they tend to receive gifts on Christmas Day now, too. With this in mind, there are some great special offers on toys and games from 27th December to 5th January. The bigger supermarkets have a vast range of toys available, often cheaper than specialist toy shops, so there are good quality bargains to be found.

OBG-SpainWritten for by Sally Veall, expert expat at For more information about emigrating to, buying property in, or life as an expat in Spain, click here or call +44 207 898 0549.
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