Another Thanksgiving in Madrid

From September to November, I was basically running around like a crazy person going to class 6-8 hours per day, heading straight afterwards to tutor English to Spaniards, getting all my papers/projects done, studying for exams, and brainstorming thesis topics. The second year of studies definitely had me locked down. So when Thanksgiving came around, we Americans in the program were excited for a chance to get everyone together to grub and throw back lots and lots of wine.

After the first year, more than half of the Americans in our program flew back to Northeastern University to finish their last year at home. With only 8 of us left, we decided it was the perfect opportunity to share this amazing holiday with all of our European friends. We invited around 30 guests, almost all of whom had never celebrated Thanksgiving before. I volunteered by apartment to host all of the festivities.

The Americans of the night.

Truth be told, I had a seriously crazy week leading up to the big dinner, and on the big day I was frantically running around the apartment trying to get everything ready. I probably would have lost it if it hadn’t been for my trusty boyfriend who was there to keep me grounded and help out in any way he could. There was literally a moment where he had to lift me up and literally shake the neurosis out of me. I was especially thankful for someone who could get me to stop and laugh even in the most whirlwind of moments.

Thomas & Alyssa preparing the appetizer table.

As our friends arrived, everyone grabbed a feather, wrote down what they’re most thankful for, and stuck it on the giant paper turkey at the entrance. Everyone contributed in some way. The entrees were taken care of by all the Americans, and everyone else brought wine, appetizers, and dessert. Our Irish friends even made Irish coffees for everyone at the end!

Turkey, rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, mac & cheese, carrots, corn, green bean casserole, peas, sweet potato casserole, corn bread, pumpkin pie, and more..

Bottles on bottles of Spanish sidra.

At the end of the night, our paper turkey had a full body of feathers, with multilingual memos of thankful moments. Here are some of my favorites:

“For stupendous food and more celebrations like this. Yupi yay”

It was one of the most unique Thanksgivings I’ve ever had, and definitely is one of the highlights of my expatriate experience in Spain.


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