My husband and I both love Christmas. It is our favorite holiday. When we met for the first time it was over Christmas in Colorado. However, since we have been together we have yet to spend a Christmas in Cairo. It's becoming a tradition to go to the US every year at Christmas time. Last year I wanted to get a tree after seeing them for sale at the florists around town. Having a real tree is out of the question since we won't be around to take care of it. I was willing to settle for a fake one, but for some reason we never got around to buying one last year. We spent Christmas with my mother in Florida but she does not "do Christmas" so there was no tree.
When we were on our way to Carrefour this evening I imagined how it would be if I were shopping in the US at this time of year. The aisles of every store would be filled with Christmas decorations and holiday items, cookies, wrapping paper and Christmas music. (In Egypt you can hear Christmas music by the pool or in the movie theater in July, but you don't hear it at Christmas time.) But we were headed to Carrefour in Cairo to buy cat litter. I told myself that it just wouldn't be the same and reminded myself that in just 30 days I would be in Colorado surrounded by snow and lights and the smells, sights and sounds of Christmas.
We walked into Carrefour and it's usual crowds and got our shopping cart and started to head to the back and over by the pet supplies. Suddenly in front of me I saw a whole aisle of Christmas trees and decorations. Ok, they were slightly cheap looking and pathetic but I started jumping for joy and squealing "Let's get a tree! Let's get a tree!"
The trees came in 3 different sizes but I liked the littlest one. I got one box of ornaments and a stocking. Overall, the stuff is way overpriced for the quality. I didn't buy lights because the tree is way to small for the strands they had available. I figured they probably wouldn't work anyway. Returning things that don't work in Egypt is quite a hassle.
So that was it. One aisle. A hand full of trees, lights and ornaments. They had a few tiny wreaths but they were also quite pricey for the size and quality. No wrapping paper, no musical cards, no fruit cake or sugar cookies or life size Santas and Reindeer...but it made me happy if for a brief moment. For a brief moment I was able to feel that familiar Holiday spirit.
So here it is - my Charlie Brown Christmas tree:
Map of Amman from 1956 - Here’s a really cool map from 1956. For more information, head over to Tobzeh. How small the city was.
2 months ago