Archive | December, 2010

Vacation!

26 Dec

I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with friends and it was great! We went to church (and sung all my favorite Christmas carols, yay!), listened to Mariah Carry’s Christmas Cds on YouTube, had tapas and wine, and had a slumber party on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day we all woke up together and had a huge American brunch, exchanged gifts and watched A Christmas Story. (It was my first time seeing A Christmas Story, which is apparently a holiday classic and was super cute!) Even though I wasn’t home it was still a very merry Christmas 🙂

For the rest of the holiday I will be traveling, but this time I thought I would post something instead of just not writing for 2 weeks. My boyfriend is visiting from the states and we are going to Granada, Morocco (Tangier and Marrakesh), Sevilla and Portugal (Lisbon). I can’t wait! I will update everyone when I’m back!

XO

Christmas Pageant

24 Dec

Yesterday was the last day of school and all the kids had to do was prepare for and perform their Christmas pageant. The other assistants and I had no part in this because it was entirely in Spanish, but we still went to “work” to see it. Every grade participated, from preschool to sixth. You might be thinking that’s a lot of kids just to sing a few Christmas carols and tell the story of the birth of Jesus BUT that’s not all a Christmas pageant is in Spain. Here (or in Mazanares, at least), the story of Christmas starts with Creation and covers all of the main accounts and people of the Old Testament up until the birth of Jesus. It was awesome, a little chaotic and adorable! Here are some pictures I managed to take before my camera died.

3 and 4-year-olds in animal costumes, too cute!

Fourth grade Egyptians. They performed the story of Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.

Third grade sheep and shepherds.

First graders performing Adam and Eve, they were precious!

Second grade performing Noah's Arc.

Mary, Joseph, shepherds and baby Jesus. Merry Christmas!

XO

In the Spirit of Christmas

23 Dec

Even though working up until the 23rd of December doesn’t put me in the holiday spirit in the same way as starting Christmas break as soon as my last exam is over does (thanks a lot real world! or semi real world in my case), I have managed to fit in some festive things in the spirit of Christmas. Last weekend some friends and I spent an afternoon “baking” in a toaster oven. (Full-size ovens…and dryers…are rare over here.) Among our desserts were: sugar cookies, without baking soda or powder (also rare here) and with whatever else we decided to add after our mixture didn’t really look like cookie dough, and “brownie cookies”, aka brownies made on a cookie sheet because we didn’t have a baking pan.

Brownie "cookies"

 

Hand-made....literally!

I know it sounds like…and maybe looks like…everything turned out terrible BUT actually it was all delicious! Thanks to mostly our friend, Jayleen, who could probably bake in her sleep. (Did I mention we used frying flour instead of baking/all-purpose flour for the cookies? ha!)

In the midst of cooking and Christmas parties I also went to see some of the decorations around the city. Most of the main streets have lights in all kinds of Christmas shapes (ornaments, presents, snowflakes, ect.) hanging over them and all of the plazas are decorated. It was so pretty!

Tree at Puerta del Sol

Jeta and I post Christmas pastry stop.

Lights AND a Christmas village (aka market) in Plaza Mayor!

Merry Christmas! XO

Christmas Time is Here!

21 Dec

This past weekend was apparently THE weekend for Christmas parties. Most people I know had their work parties last week or weekend and all of my friends had their parties Friday and Saturday. Most Spaniards spend the holidays in their home towns with family, so I guess that made last weekend prime party time. Between stuffing myself at various dinners, the constant drinking of beer and wine, and party hoping I managed to make myself sick to my stomach by Sunday night…but it was worth it!

Needless to say, I like the way people here celebrate. They really go all out! Speaking of which, secret santa is a big deal. All the teachers and assistants at my school drew names last Tuesday and so far pre-gifts and clues have been left every single day. (Of course, myself and the other assistants have not been leaving as many since we didn’t know how seriously Spaniards take this tradition, lol!) My school is also hosting two Christmas meals for staff members and an entire week of “class” dedicated to crafts, learning a song, watching a moving and practicing for their Christmas pageant for this Thursday. I love my job.

XO

Oh, hey!

18 Dec

So, I haven’t posted anything in a while, but I can explain. The week after Thanksgiving I was busy getting ready to visit the U S of A for the December puente. (Yes, there is about a week and a half break in the beginning of December in Spain PLUS the Christmas and New Years break. Why even have any class this month?) Then I was at home visiting friends and family, so naturally I took a break from blogging.

Being home was wonderful! I am so happy I could see my loved ones around the holidays. I was able to stay for 8 days, but that definitely wasn’t enough time to see everyone (so sorry!). Ice-skating and taking pictures in downtown Charlotte officially made it Christmas for me. I’ve always loved the lights, the enormous ornaments downtown and the decorations in Founders Hall!

Posing with a reindeer and taking a break from the freezing wind outside!

I also spent a few days in Florida with my boyfriend and we went to the Trans Siberian Orchestra Christmas concert. It was AWESOME! If you haven’t gone to one of their concerts I definitely recommend it. This TSO show had rock-n-roll remixes of classic songs and tons of laser lights and smoke. Very cool.

One of the first songs at the TSO concert

Being home was the perfect start to the Christmas season! So far it looks like Christmas in Madrid will be very fun. I can’t wait!

XO