‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season

It’s that time of year again!

Where all of us become nostalgic for Harry Potter movie marathons during ABC Family’s 25 days of Christmas, Starbucks Christmas Blend coffee, seeing lines of kids ready to take the photo with Santa at the mall, making cookies, wrapping presents and of course, eating many many home cooked meals. This year my holiday season is looking a little different, at least until I make it back to Chicago a few days before Christmas!

The beginning of November, I found myself to be surrounded by garbage. Garbage everywhere. There was a sanitation worker strike in Madrid that started and didn’t end until mid-November.


Mid-November, the garbage strike ended and I also began baking Gram’s homemade macaroni and cheese to practice for my first Thanksgiving in Madrid. I even brought a batch to my favorite bar, Pintan Tapas for the bartender to taste the macaroni and cheese that I kept talking about!


The Saturday before Thanksgiving I hosted my first Thanksgiving at my apartment here in Madrid! I invited a few friends and we ate delicious American food, drank some Spanish Wine and made crafts, later on I went to see The Hunger Games with Adrian and his sister. It was a pretty perfect Spanish Thanksgiving!

IMG_0929 IMG_0891 IMG_0928 IMG_0920 IMG_0919

Before the movie I snapped a picture of Adri’s sister, Emma and her friends for her parents! Yes, that is a bunch of Spanish middle schoolers getting ready to see The Hunger Games. Yes, I was a bit frightened that there were so many of them!


On Thanksgiving day, it snowed in Madrid for the first time this season! I took the bus to school to get pictures of the snow and the beautiful sunrise! Sunrise is around 8:30, so no, I didn’t get up at a crazy hour to get these pictures! The snow was cool to see, but it all melted by mid-day.

IMG_0956 IMG_0958 IMG_0960 IMG_0962

When I got to school on Thanksgiving, none of the kids knew it was Thanksgiving and frankly, they didn’t really care that it was Thanksgiving. We tried to give them some general ideas as to what Thanksgiving is, but I think they missed the whole point. Either way, we made hand turkeys with my first and second graders and talked about what we are thankful for, some got the idea, others…not so much. It was adorable to see their ideas though! At the end of the day watched a “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving”.

Some Turkeys done by my first graders:

  • Picasso turkey.
  • Normal turkey, “I’m thankful for dad, Toys, scool, trees, mom” turkey (it says “Happy Crismas” in the hand if you look closely enough.
  • A perfect turkey which says “I’m thankful for, school, family, dad, mom, friends” with no spelling errors and in perfect cursive!
  • Also, an example of one of my confused Turkeys, the official “Happy Crismas” turkey.
  • Lastly, I hung them all up on a bulletin board for them to admire their work! They were very proud and pointing saying “mio! mio” (mine! mine!) Enjoy!

IMG_0984IMG_0968 IMG_0976IMG_0967 IMG_0987

The friday after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday”, there were actually a few stores that advertised Black Friday sales which really surprised me! There weren’t any sales that interested me but there were a bunch of people in the center because the lighting of the Christmas lights around the city started that Friday, November 29th.

IMG_0994 IMG_1002IMG_1004IMG_1005IMG_1068

The Christmas lights here in Madrid are amazing. The Christmas Markets are pretty exciting too! In Plaza Mayor, there is the oldest Christmas Market in Spain! It is full of toys, christmas decorations, nativity scenes and knick-knacks. In every plaza, there are different stands open selling just about anything you can imagine. Walking around Madrid with everything set up for Christmas is beautiful!

Lastly, this first week of December, I have been working on a bulletin board at school! I hope it turns out the way I want! I drew Santa and cut him out, now I just have to make his reindeer! I also drew a little guy sledding down the hill. I threw some tinfoil on the tree and my first graders are going to make some present boxes to put under the tree and ornaments to put on the tree! I am excited!


“May your Days be Merry and Bright!”

I hope you have all taken your time to appreciate and enjoy the holiday spirit that is filling the world! Merry Christmas to all!