Thanksgiving in Madrid
I love living in Spain. I don't regret my decision in moving here for the second time. However, I always miss home the most around the holidays. Spain has plenty for Christmas, between lights strung up on the streets, Christmas music playing at Starbucks and various other areas, chestnuts roasting on the streets, etc. Thanksgiving though, is another story. It's an American holiday, plain and simple. The only thing that Spain has incorporated from our tradition is Black Friday (not going to complain about the sales!), so naturally, I missed a lot of the traditions that I usually participate in with my family.
With all that said, my Thanksgiving here in Spain did not lack for celebration. My school loves having us share our holidays with the students, my private students were very curious and interested in Thanksgiving, and, where there are Americans, you can be sure there will be a Thanksgiving feast! This whole past week has been full of Thanksgiving and has made my heart happy, even if I still miss my traditional fall leaves and family in Tennessee.
Here's how my week went:
Monday through Thursday I worked on some Thanksgiving activities with my private students, including hand turkeys, thanks chains, showing them our traditional food (and explaining what sweet potatoes were!), and having them come up with their own ideal feasts (perfect since they were working on food in school!). The students and families were so sweet in double checking with me ahead of time to make sure I was still okay to come on Thursday and wishing me a happy Thanksgiving when I did come.
Wednesday at school every class participated in Thanksgiving presentations during the last hour and a half of the day. Each of us auxiliares got to go around with two other teachers to three different classes and judge their decorations, cooking, presentations, and skits. It was so much fun! I helped a lot of the students work on their activities the week and a half before they did them and it was so fun to see how they turned out! Some did better jobs than others, but it was great to see fall leaves, hand turkeys, thanks chains, skits about the first Thanksgiving, and the food they had prepared. I got to try everything from homemade apple pie to mashed potato croquetas to turkey with cranberry gravy sauce. I was actually pretty impressed with the cooking skill of middle schoolers. The teachers and students also wished me a happy Thanksgiving on Thursday. (*Side note: I would have loved to have taken pictures, but rightly so we aren't allowed to take or post pictures of students without their parents' permission. Spain is getting better about their protection of minors).
I also Skyped with my family on Wednesday to wish each other a happy Thanksgiving and catch upon the latest. So thankful for the technology which allows us to keep in touch!
Saturday was our American Thanksgiving feast with friends from three additional countries (including Spain, Italy, and the UK). For being potluck style, we were able to coordinate pretty well in order to have most of the traditional foods: turkey (really chicken since it's Spain and the fridges and ovens are small), mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, a version of apple pie, salad, and some other random American and Spanish dishes. It turned out to be a quite yummy and enjoyable party. We even went around the table and said what we were thankful for. =)
Happy Thanksgiving weekend, ya'll!
Until next time,