December gets under way with two public holidays quite early on: the 6th is Constitution Day and the 8th is Immaculate Conception and, with Sunday in between, it is a nice long weekend.

Looking a little ahead, next June will see the end of compulsory schooling for a number of children and for them it will be a time of “school trips” maybe abroad, maybe…  These trips cost money and it is the responsibility of those children to raise some of the cost, themselves.  We think that this is a good introduction to the idea that from now on, you can’t just depend on your parents to pay for everything and you have to put in some effort yourself.

In addition to producing olives, olive oil, ham, sausages and many, many other things, in common with other parts of Spain, there are factories turning out sweets which are exported to other countries.  In addition to being sold in shops, supermarkets and other retailers, one factory produces a catalogue that the aforementioned children can use to sell sweets for Christmas and they get a reasonable mark-up which goes towards the school trips.

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sugar-free!

No added sugar!

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This is also the time for the run-up to the famous big lottery – “El Gordo” – The Fat One.  This 2,240,000,000 € lottery is drawn on the 22nd December.  The sellers of lottery tickets get a commission so some of the children sell lottery tickets to raise money towards the school trips.
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In addition to buying sweets from the children, we also visit several of the factories and get some of their specialities which are not normally on retail sale.
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