Originally from Liverpool in England Julie Stephenson moved to Barcelona on a whim 13 years ago. Now she runs Esperança, a charity that helps the homeless.
“As Christmas approaches, we’re still not sure how the day will play out this year. We won’t have piles of presents under the tree nor Christmas parties to go to, but we will be together and we will be making new, wonderful memories and traditions.”
“On the night before December 13th, excitement is off the radar amongst most children in Lombardy. They are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Lucia to bring them gifts provided they have been well behaved all year, otherwise it’s a piece of coal instead!”
Christmas markets, Christmas light tours, Christmas nibbles and chocolate & churros….. all the essentials to celebate the festive season in Madrid.
“We don’t have a pram – no room in the car – and I like the African mama idea of throwing them on your back and them settling into you. We have a fab sling that works really well for everywhere!” Juliet Murrel, mother, wife and creator of House of Voga
Paris blogger Claudette Parry of Mama Loves Paris offers 8 great ways to enjoy Paris this holiday season with the whole family.
“For the Calabrese, food is life. When they aren’t eating, they are thinking about, or planning their next meal. Christmas time in Calabria is like heaven on a plate.”
December has arrived. There’s an abundance of activities across the city, from age-old festive traditions (both weird and wonderful) to innovative pop-up events and plenty of family friendly events this Christmas in Barcelona.
“During some time spent in a remote area of the Amazon, I was lucky to witness a natural birth and met with a group of women who were traditional birth attendants. They taught me about their perspective on childbearing and birth. I was hooked from then on.”
“We focus not on risks but on resources and how to improve them. We apply positive communication to see the best, not the worst. We lead women back to their body and self-knowledge.”
In Spain the season of being jolly extends well beyond the 12 days of Christmas: traditionally beginning on the 22nd of December with the annual National Lottery, known affectionately as el Gordo (“the fat one”) and finishing on the 6th of January when the Three Kings bring gifts. This month our blogger in Madrid writes about traditional British festivities in the lead up to Christmas.
“Several months after my husband had died I saw a show about a family living abroad called House Hunters International. They had moved to a beautiful little village outside of Barcelona, one of my favorite places on earth. The little pueblo of Sitges was right along the sea and boasted a lively town center along with an incredible expat community representing people from all over the globe.”
MumAbroad was founded by Rebecca Laidlaw, an Internet Marketing consultant & Carrie Frais, a Journalist and PR executive. Carrie lives in Barcelona and is Mum to Poppy (7) and Bertie (5) and Rebecca lives in Oxfordshire (UK) and has 3 children, Ollie (7), Sophie (5) and Theo (1).
“In 2007, we were both living in the beautiful city of Barcelona, having each just given birth to our first child. With no extended family to help with childcare, we looked for other resources to help guide us through this challenging period of our lives. We were surprised at how difficult it was to find easily accessible information about activities and services for parents. It soon became apparent that there was a growing niche for an English language website which would offer parents from the International Community valuable information such as child-related services, schools, family activities, shops, family holidays and restaurants. After extensive research and the help of scores of mothers, Barcelona Mum was born, offering a comprehensive and personalized guide to family life in Barcelona. Within a few months MumAbroad Spain was launched, incorporating the whole of Catalunya and subsequently Madrid, Andalucia, the Costa Blanca and the Balearics. As the site gained momentum, MumAbroad France, MumAbroad Italy and MumAbroad Germany were established and in 2014 the four sites were amalgamated under one roof.
We believe that, in the majority of cases, parents are the best judge of anything child-related, so that is why our site is based purely on recommendation. Every service, group or activity on our website has been recommended by at least one Mum or Dad. In our interview section, you can read about other mums’ experiences of living abroad as well as interviews with a host of childhood experts. In our Women in Business section, we’ve discovered some inspirational ladies, who have established successful businesses in and created a life for themselves, many of whom have had to juggle work and family life. Our forum allows parents to share concerns, offer advice, advertise services, buy & sell items and virtually meet others in an online community.”
Carrie & Rebecca