Every year I write a Christmas blog and today, I couldn’t help but wonder if this must be how the Queen of England feels when she comes around to writing her annual Christmas speech (Yes. Yes I did just compare myself to dear Liz). Because despite all the different things that have happened in my world over the past 12 months, I just want to say the same thing over and over and over again. I just love Christmas in Ibiza! As I type, I am actually on a plane flying home for Christmas* (apologies if, like me, you get a pesky song stuck in your head for the rest of the day), aboard a plane chock-full of families full of Christmas cheer heading off to see their loved ones.
When I say home, I mean home to Ibiza of course, and although my passport (and my accent) may indicate that I’m from another town in another country, my heart most definitely beats for Ibiza, my beautiful little Mediterranean island off the south coast of Spain. People often ask me why I choose to spend Christmas in Ibiza each year, when I have family, friends and loved ones celebrating in other places I once called home. The answer is simple. Christmas in Ibiza is AMAZING. Once you’ve experienced an Ibiza Christmas, it’s very difficult to go back to a ‘normal’ Christmas afterwards, whether your definition of normal is snow and roast turkeys, booze and TV marathons, BBQs and beaches or any other tradition you may hold dear.
But exactly what IS an Christmas and WHY is it so amazing? What is it that makes it so much more special than anywhere else? Where to start… Christmas in Ibiza is whatever you want it to be (except for snowing – it definitely doesn’t snow). If you want to get together with your nearest and dearest, cook a big traditional meal and spend the day singing Christmas carols, all the elements are here and waiting. If you want to go to Pacha until 7am on Christmas Eve and sleep through the usual Christmas lunch and decide to just go out for a decadent dinner in a restaurant where you won’t have to wash any dishes, you’re in the right place. If you want to be by the sea, you want to be in the country, you want to be in your own home or you want to be in a luxe hotel, you’ll find your Christmas paradise here in Ibiza.
Christmas in Ibiza is also with whomever you want it to be with, and this is one of my favourite things, because in Ibiza, your friends really do turn into your family. Many big Ibiza Christmas dinners are made up of ‘orphans’ – that is, the people who have moved here from far and wide, and have no family here to spend the holidays with – and these can be the ones where you make the firmest friends that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Each person brings or makes something traditional to their country and you end up with an amazing feast of epic international proportions. And of course, Christmas in Ibiza is hot and sunny.
This may feel a little out of the ordinary to those of you from the northern hemisphere, but there is something magical about drinking a glass of champagne in the sunshine on your roof terrace to start the day, or popping to the beach for a stroll with your friends who have dogs, before heading off to your respective Christmas celebrations. By the time the sun goes down, a chill settles over the air and you’re ready to throw on your Christmas jumper and tuck into a hot dinner. I have spent many a Christmas in Ibiza, each one of them different and I wouldn’t swap them for anything in the world. I’ve celebrated Christmas in a house with total strangers; I’ve suffered a Christmas so hungover I thought I would die (but got straight back on the party wagon), I’ve survived Christmas in a big family-like atmosphere with friends who have kids; I’ve hilariously done Christmas slaving over a hot stove (and burning the turkey!) for my best friends; I’ve enjoyed Christmas in a fancy restaurant; I’ve had an amazing Christmas on the beach; I’ve had a lazy Christmas at home with just my boyfriend and cats. In the end, I don’t mind what I do for Christmas each year, as long as it’s in Ibiza. I hope that each and every one of you gets the chance to spend at least one Christmas in Ibiza so you can truly understand the feeling. There is nothing I love more than Christmas in Ibiza – and I hope Yule love it too! (sorry!) *Yes! I left the island – regular readers of my blog will know I find it very difficult to separate from my island home, but it was just a quick trip to the mainland…