Christmas in Madrid

5 Lanz in MadridLike so often at this time of year I found myself with a lot to do, a lot in my head and somehow too little time for rather too many things I wanted to do – like writing…But it hasn’t really been too stressful – in the end I just decided that those things which I didn’t yet manage to do I will do sometime…soon. And for now I’m just enjoying Christmas and am happy because four of my siblings are here to visit me! They arrived on Sunday and it’s still a bit odd to be speaking German so much and it feels surreal to have them in my flat and to be walking around Madrid with them…but I love it because it’s like sharing my “other life” with them – the Spanish life they don’t know. We’ve been together in lots of countries, but never in Spain =)

So what’s Christmas like for five Germans in Madrid?

  1. Thankfully sunny!!! And not too cold =) Though I’d love to have some snow…
  2. Yummy – we’ve been eating lots of good food…like funky salads, lasagna, lots of home made tapas, home-made German Christmas cookies, Christstollen, Spekulatius, Lebkuchen, Chocolate…and we changed the family tradition Christmas dinner of potato salad with sausages to a Spanish dish: arroz al horno con conejo y mil otras cosas (a rice dish made in the oven)
  3. Organised – of course, we’re German, right? So we organised ourselves – one to do the shopping and cooking, two decorating the tree, one baking cookies and one helping out where need be…
  4. Full of interesting surprises – like when we realized the German Church we wanted to go to the afternoon of the 24th was about 80 housesThe German Church further down the road and thus received another confirmation of the not-so-trustworthiness of a certain map to be found on the web…But the church was pretty and in the end we just went to the service that started an hour later =)
  5. Funny…can’t help being funny – with our Denglish, my various sibling’s intelligent comments and observations and just…those little things that make me smile or laugh just cos…_
  6. Fashionable – my sister and I were intrigued by the headgear in fashion just now…anything from bright shiny Christmas trees to Micky Mouse, Mushrooms, various animals, sparkly wigs…walking through the city centre one almost feels strange WITHOUT an oddity on top of one’s head…

We also met a lot of people still at work all throughout the day. Shopkeepers having to stay in until 8pm on Christmas Eve, Metro guards having to work until 9pm and a Bartender on duty until 1am…I wished them all a Merry Christmas but wondered what it must be like to work on a holiday. And not just any holiday – but Christmas. For us, celebrating the birth of Jesus. Celebrating the love God showed us by leaving his glory, becoming one of us – being born as a baby, growing up like all children do and about 30 years later dying on a cross to pay for our sins. Like it says in John 3,16

Feliz_NavidadFor God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (quoted from the New International Version)

Whether you believe that too or whether it’s just a nice family holiday for you, I want to wish you all out there, wherever you are and whomever you’re celebrating with…a Merry Christmas! God bless y’all!

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