Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Spirit

Since my last post, the holiday spirit seems to have only grown in Madrid. This past week of school was full of it! Consequently, this meant a lot less time for academics; it was a pretty easy week to say the least.
The Nativity Play
The students have been preparing for weeks for their Christmas concert. Every class sings a Christmas song (in Spanish) and each grade comes together to sing an English Christmas song.  My 5th graders sang "Let it Snow" and my sixth graders sang "We Can Make a Beautiful Christmas" by Big Time Rush (a little modern but a fun, catchy song).  Since the auditorium is pretty small and each student is allowed to invite two family members, the concerts are split up by grade: pre-schoolers went on Monday, 1st and 2nd on Tuesday, 3rd and 4th on Wednesday, and 5th and 6th on Thursday.
On Friday, the 6th graders preformed their "Belen en vivo" (live nativity scene) for their fellow classmates.  This nativity went from traditional to modern very quickly.  The scene started off with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus who were shortly joined by the angel Gabriel, a donkey, and a cow.  But then... more characters came.  By the end of the sketch a lottery ticket, 2 Christmas trees, Christmas candy, a soldier and gypsies were present at the nativity scene (just to name a few). Haha not so traditional anymore. But I must say it was quite comical, especially when the 4 gypsies were played by actually gypsies.  After the play on Friday morning, every class had their own Christmas party.  The students were allowed to bring food, drink and travel to the other classes to mingle and wish a Merry Christmas to their classmates.  It was fun to let loose with my students and to dance, sing and joke around for the afternoon.
School ended early on Friday, and afterwards all of the teachers were invited out for a holiday meal. Most schools in Spain host a special holiday meal for their staff. We ate a lot of delicious food, drank good wine and had a great time. I especially enjoyed it because I don't get many opportunities to talk to the teachers who can't speak English in the school because I'm not allowed to speak Spanish when I'm working. So I got the chance to get to know some of the teachers that I normally don't talk to and I really enjoyed that. I'm blessed with lovely co-workers.
Celebrating Christmas with some of my favorite coworkers!
I spent the weekend in Madrid, resting up for my big Christmas vacation which starts today! I leave for Italy tonight, then will move on to Paris for New Years and finally make a quick stop in Belgium before coming back to Spain on the 6th.  I don't think I'll have a chance to update again until after break so I'll just say Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone reading from home :)

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