The holidays are not as much about where you are, but who you spend them with. Thankfully I have great people in my life all over the world. I’ve spent a few holidays in Spain now, and they’ve all turned out better than expected.
Halloween isn’t as big in Spain, but it still is celebrated. People tend to dress up more scary, along the lines of zombies and vampires, instead of fun and cute. My piso (apartment) and the neighboring one had a festive dinner, as tradition, in our costumes and then went out for a night on the town. It was just as fun for me as a Halloween in the States.
I dressed up as a black crow and my American roommate dressed up as a magician. We, along with our international roommates, made all kinds of fun Halloween snacks. I carved a pumpkin, which was a new thing for all of our roommates. We also made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies-a huge hit. Did you all know that pumpkin is very scarce in Spain?
Then November rolled around and I actually celebrated two Thanksgivings this year in Spain, which is just as many as I celebrate at home. My program, WIPT, had a Thanksgiving dinner in a Spanish restaurant with Spanish food (so I only half counted that one). Then my apartment and the neighbors put on a Thanksgiving dinner.
There are four Americans between the two apartments, so we put out all the stops. We showed all of our international roommates the joy of Thanksgiving. We even made everyone say at least one thing they were thankful for before eating. The biggest hits were the sweet potato casserole and pumpkin pie. Everyone loved them.
I spent Christmas with a friend in the UK. She actually studied abroad at IU last year, which is how I met her. She offered for me to spend Christmas with her family, as she understands how it is to be away from your loved ones for the holidays. I’m really thankful for her. Although it hasn’t been too bad so far, there have been a few times when I got holiday-homesick. So instead of sitting around missing everyone, I decided to enjoy an English holiday and be thankful for this opportunity I have.
It’s crazy to think that almost half of my journey is over. As much as I will miss Christmas with my family, I couldn’t imagine going back to the States right now. I’m not ready to leave.
Happy belated Holidays, everyone!