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Traditions are Made to be Broken

Oh boy, the holidays are officially here!  It’s now time for the Christmas tree, ornaments, lights, and stockings.  It’s time to buy and wrap presents, send out our holiday greeting cards, and plan that Christmas day feast!

For me, this is literally the most wonderful time of the year.  I love the pine smell, the red, green, and white colors, the family traditions, and that Michigan white Christmas.  I look forward to the end of the year holidays, and I thoroughly enjoy spending that time with family and friends.

However, this year, for Christmas 2012, I am away from Michigan, away from the snow, and away from my family.  I am celebrating the holidays for the second time in my life away from everything I know and love.  I am in Spain, a country who only recently began celebrating Christmas on the 25th – their Christmas (or Reyes as they call it, when the Kings came to see baby Jesus) is celebrated on the 5th of January.  I will not see my mother, or my father, or my sister.  I was not able to decorate my family Christmas tree, and share in our tradition of watching ‘White Christmas’.  I am missing out on a time that is usually so special to me.

However, I can see Rudolph’s red nose at the end of the tunnel.  Because though I may not have the regular traditional Christmas I am used to celebrating, I will be surrounded by my boyfriend Sergio, his family, and my cousin and her boyfriend whom are flying out to be with me.  So, I am pleased to say that the 2012 holiday season will not be lost!

Here in Pinto, the small town outside of Madrid where my boyfriend and I live, we did manage to bring some Christmas cheer to our small but homey apartment.  I had to replace a large yard and rooftop with a small 2nd floor balcony; a real green Christmas tree with a short white fake one; and real cold snow with stick-on snowflakes.  It may not be the real thing, but it is our thing.

Our 8 Euro Christmas tree fit inside that box.

Our 8 Euro Christmas tree fit inside that box.

We named her Snow White!

We named her Snow White!

The ball of present lights.

The ball of present lights.

Snow White all lit up!

Snow White all lit up!

Our favorite - both ghetto and tacky!

Our favorite – both ghetto and tacky!

España all lit up!

España all lit up!

My handy work - and yes, each snowflake is different!

My handy work – and yes, each snowflake is different!

I'm a proud Christmas mama!

I’m a proud Christmas mama!

The view from the street.

The view from the street.

And we can't forget about Santa, who is riding a lego VW van!

And we can’t forget about Santa, who is riding a lego VW van!


Traditions will always be there, no matter where in the world you may be.  And though this may not be my regular traditional holiday decorating, it’s something new that I will forever be able to cherish.  So, for this year, goodbye my regular Michigan Christmas, and hello my unique, once in a lifetime Spanish Christmas!

Happy Holidays Everyone and Happy Decorating!


Will you be missing out on any usual holiday traditions this year?  If so, let us know in the comment section below!


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Happy Wednesday Readers!  Can you believe that Christmas is this Sunday?!

This will be the first Christmas in my entire life where I will not be home for the holidays.  There will be no snow, none of my family’s holiday traditions, and no presents underneath my Christmas tree.

Instead of being home for Christmas in Michigan, I will be spending my first Christmas here in Madrid, Spain.  Instead of snow, we have rain.  Instead of Santa Claus, we have the Three Kings.  And instead of opening presents on the 25th, we open presents on the 6th of January.

Yes, it will be an extremely different Christmas, however new Christmas traditions form with age and change.  And besides, the best and most important part of the holidays is being with family and loved ones.

Which is why, even though I will not be home, it will still feel like the “most wonderful time of the year” because my family – my sister, mother and step-dad – are here in Spain celebrating the holidays with me!

(from left to right) My sister, my boyfriend, and myself in Madrid.

I have not seen them since October, and after they leave on the 6th of January I will not see them again until summer time, so it is extremely nice to be in their presence for these upcoming 3 weeks!

So, because the holidays are here and I have my family to entertain me, I would like to apologize for my lack of posting yesterday, and warn that in the future – at least for the next 3 weeks – I may not be updating Palm Trees & Bare Feet regularly.  

However, I’m sure you won’t be too sad without my regular posting since I’m sure I’m not the only one unable to blog regularly during the holiday season.  And besides, with family and friends, hot cocoa and gingerbread, and snowball fights and present giving, we will (at least should) completely forget about the un-realities of the virtual world.

So Happy Holidays All and Merry Christmas!

I Hope This Truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year For You!

One of the lit up Christmas trees in Madrid.


Here Comes Santa Claus

Christmas is 3 weeks and 2 days away.

It’s a time of giving, joy, celebrating with family and friends, decorating the Christmas tree, admiring the festive lights, and yes, Santa Claus.

Here in Spain, Santa became mainstream only recently while for years, and still now, it is the three Kings whom give the children their presents on the 6th of January (the 25th of December is the celebration of Jesus’ birth).

As an American, and a true believer in Santa Claus for my entire childhood, the thought of three Wise Men putting presents underneath the tree is quite absurd.  I mean, how do they get there?  Where are their flying reindeer?  Where do they live the rest of the year?  What is their equivalent of the North Pole?

Yes, a red-cheeked fat man coming down the chimney is loco in it’s own way, and to each culture its own, but I’m a fan of good ol’ Santa Claus.

I love the spirit of Christmas mainly because of Santa.  Ever seen Polar Express?  If not, you must.  Santa, for me, is not just some jolly never-dying guy who brings presents.  Santa represents the magical time of the holidays, the constant joy this time of year that seems to elude us during the other months, and the reminder that it is OK to believe.

This is the reason why I love Santa Claus, even at the age of 21.  In my personal opinion, I feel that every child should experience the magic of Santa, his reindeer and the North Pole.  My parents never actually told us that Santa did not exist.  As my sister and I got older, we just simply grew out of believing that he was a literal being – and of course we heard the non-existence of our favorite man from mean school bullies – and knew that those presents under the tree, even the ones which still said “From Santa” were actually from our loving parents.  

However, the magic and believing in the spirit of Christmas never left us, and still to this day, Santa equals magic for me.  Which is why I believe that children should never be told that there is no Santa.  

What is so wrong with letting them believe this one little thing while the rest of their world turns into constant stress, money, and worries?  If I ever met a grown man/woman whom still believed in Santa, I would never laugh, taunt or tease them.  No, I would bow down to them, maybe even propose, because in the sad, greedy world we live in, what’s the matter with believing in just a little magic and spirit?

All of the above got me thinking once I saw an article on the Huffington Post about a news anchor, who live on the air with children watching, said that there was no Santa Claus.

Watch it here:

Quite sad, isn’t it?  People were quite pissed at her comment and of course, I agree!  It is the parent’s job to tell their children about Santa, not someone who bluntly says, on the news, that “there is no Santa”.

So, what are your takes on all of this?  Do you think children need to know the “truth” about Santa at a certain age, or is it OK to let the children grow out of it on their own?  If you have kids, what age, if yet, did you explain to them about Santa?

Love to hear your thoughts!


*Note: The images were taken from Google Images.  The video was taken from Youtube, its © belongs to NewsTsar’s Channel and FOX News.  However, the words, thoughts and opinions are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*

Naughty or Nice?

Christmas will be here in exactly 3 weeks and 4 days.  Sorry to scare you like that but it’s true!  It’s also true that Santa will be coming, and I don’t know about you, but I am hoping that I’ve been Nice this year.

But, how do you tell if you’ve been Nice or Naughty?  

You could make a list of every bad thing you remember doing throughout the year.  But then again, you may not remember everything.  You could ask those you know to help by telling you what they remember you doing wrong.  But be careful who you ask; you could ask an enemy who would just make bad things up, or ask your mom who would lie and tell you that you’re “perfect”.

There really is no easy way to keep track of all the bad things you did during the long year.  But now that Christmas is near, you must know if you’ve been Naughty or Nice so you can ask Santa for that new year promotion, or so you can plan ways to use that lump of coal which will be in your stocking.

And this is why I have come up with a fool proof (unless you’re a fool who can’t admit their wrong doings) system using the 7 Deadly Sins.  

So, are you ready to find out if you (and myself) have been Naughty or Nice?


PRIDE : Highly believing in one’s own abilities and self; Thinking that one is above another.

Do you commit PRIDE?

Actually, for me, I feel that I am the complete opposite: I don’t believe in myself enough.  I am always bringing my work, and sometimes myself, down.  I also put other people’s abilities above my own, so I would never think about saying I’m better than someone else.

So, whether it’s good that I may be too harsh on myself, or bad and I need some more self-confidence, at least I can say that I do not commit PRIDE

Nice – 1

Naughty – 0


ENVY : Wanting someone else’s abilities, traits, status or situation; Wishing to be another.

Do you commit ENVY?

Since I do sometimes bring myself and my work down, I can say that I have wished I was better like so-and-so, or that I had the life of bladdyblah.  Since I yearn to be a professional writer, I have cursed myself for not being the one to come up with certain book or story, and I have glared at quite a few author pictures on the back of books and wished I had their imagination, life, brain.

So yes, I can say that from time to time, at least throughout this year, I do commit ENVY.

Nice – 1

Naughty – 1


GLUTTONY : Consuming any particular thing more than what is necessary; Overindulging oneself.

Do you commit GLUTTONY?

Oh, OK, I knew this one was coming.  I’m going to make this short and sweet.  I love eating.  I love drinking.  I used to love smoking.  I have been known to continue eating even when I’m about to explode, continue drinking when I’m already drunk, and I used to smoke like a chimney.

This particular sin is probably the worst for me so yes, of course I commit GLUTTONY!

Nice – 1

Naughty – 2


LUST : Intense sexual desire; Craving sexual pleasure from anyone or everyone.

Do you commit LUST?

I have been in a mutually committed and loving relationship for the past 3 years.  I, or my partner, would never cheat – we are fully satisfied with one another – and while sex is important, there are also more important things in a relationship.  Plus, my loins aren’t burning with constant desire.

So no, I do not commit LUST.

Nice – 2

Naughty – 2


WRATH : Using fury instead of love or reasoning; Quick to jump to anger.

Do you commit WRATH?

I will admit: I am quick to anger and do have slight anger problems.  I have struggled with my aggression and anger for years, and sometimes can’t even control it.  It really is one of my greatest faults and it has gotten me in trouble over the years.

So yes, I do commit WRATH.

Nice – 2

Naughty – 3


GREED : Strong desire for material wealth or gain; Ignoring the spiritual aspect of life to please the physical wealth aspect.

Do you commit GREED?

I would rather sleep in a tent or a hostel than a hotel.  I buy the majority of my clothes at the thrift store because it’s cheaper.  I would hitchhike all the way to India just to visit an ashram.  I would rather live in a small crowded apartment with 7 interesting people, than live in a gigantic mansion (equipped with an indoor pool and horse stable) with 1 boring person.  I always say that if I won the lottery, I would spend half of it on my family and friends, and the other half would either go into an investment or the bank.

Call me cheap, frugal, whatever, but I do not commit GREED.

Nice – 3

Naughty – 3


SLOTH : Avoiding physical or spiritual work; Being lazy.

Do you commit SLOTH?

I am not the most active person.  I would rather google exercise tips than actually get up and do the tips.  Every Friday I sit on the couch and catch up on my 18 TV shows that I have missed throughout the week.  I have been known to sit on the computer all day writing or blogging.  I don’t know how many times I have complained because my boyfriend doesn’t have a car and we have to walk everywhere.

So yes, in short, I can be quite a lazy person and I do commit SLOTH.

Nice – 3

Naughty – 4


Well, that outcome is not good.  I really did not think I would be a Naughty one!  But, with my system, it looks like I am to be expecting coal this year.

Going through each 7 Deadly Sin, it really did get me thinking about which ones I actually commit and how I can change that, and which ones I can continue to work on not committing.

So, what about you?  Are you Naughty or Nice?  

Try it out and tell us your score in the comment section below!

Happy Holidays!



*Note: Click on the links above for more info.  The pictures were taken from and Google Images.  The thoughts, words, ideas, and phrases in this post are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011.*