Just before Christmas I received an e-mail from a friend wishing me a Merry Christmas and gently chastising me for not having blogged more since I've been in Iraq. I've just looked back and was surprised to find that I had actually managed to blog no less than five times since I've been here. Honestly, I was surprised. I was certain I hadn't even managed that much.
It also wasn't the only super tall, out-in-the-open Christmas tree in the area. There were plenty of them.
I had promised to makes some posts over the Christmas break since I would have ample time to sit and do nothing, which I then did not (more on that later). But now that I've been sitting at home with bronchitis for three days and I have the weekend ahead of me during which I do not plan to go out at all, I thought I may as well give it a shot. (In reality, I've already watched everything on TV at least once and I'm a bit over it...).
So I thought what better than to back track a bit and discuss my Christmas in Iraq.
As you all know, I'm a Thanksgiving person, really, but I don't shun Christmas as long as those celebrating have their heart in the right place. I enjoy the holiday festivities and I'll certainly never turn down an excuse to make a badass meal.
This year was no different, even despite being in the Middle East.
In fact, here in Ainkawa, we had the tallest Christmas tree in the Middle East. I bet you weren't expecting that, eh?
|The only picture I can find of the Big Tree.|
It said "Merry Christmas" in English, Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian.
Much like Eastern Europe, Christians here celebrate their Christmas on Dec. 24th rather than on Christmas Day. However, my friends and I decided to continue to celebrate on our usual Dec. 25th.
I made desserts and my Jamaican-Floridian flatmate made us a Jamaican-style dinner.
Then the night turned into the usual party. Honestly, there wasn't much to it. The only reason I'd really call it Christmas was that I had put up decorations (i.e. We had a Christmas tree and some lights strewn up on the balcony...)
There weren't really any gifts (unless you count the alcohol people brought or the pork I was given, which I certainly do), but it was rather informal as a Christmas among friends tends to be. Still, it helped take the sting out of what could have been a really sad, lonely, boring day without my family around.