Sunday, December 26, 2010

Our first Christmas in Beirut, Lebanon 2010

It took a bit of puzzle work, but when Christmas Eve came around, we were totally ready for Christmas. We had Swedish rice porridge with cinnamon and sugar, along with ham sandwiches for supper. Then we all watched the new DVD we had got at the Virgin Megastore a few days earlier, A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, and Courtney roasted chestnuts over the grill on the balcony. The boys were so excited they had trouble going to sleep, so as always, Courtney and I ended up staying up way too late wrapping presents and setting everything up for the next morning. Yes, despite his nine years, August is still a firm believer in Santa Claus, and because we think it’s cute, and innocent, and well, Christmasy, we endorse it. I tell the boys stories from my childhood about how everything turns magic on Christmas night, how animals can talk, and I tell them to look out the window for a glimpse of Santa. Of course, we also follow Santa’s ride on Google Earth.

At the end of the night, our living room was perfect: vibrant with Christmas spirit. The cookies and milk were consumed, leaving crumbs as evidence, and Courtney and I settled brains for a looong winter’s nap. Which was cut short of course; our kids can sleep until ten on any given school day, but on Christmas, they are always awake before dawn. Luckily, they are also very good at following rules, and ours are, “Only open what’s in your stockings, play with that, and let mama & daddy sleep until 8 am.” This year Santa had cleverly put multiple piece Bionicles in the boys’ stockings, which took them a good solid 45 minutes to put together. Add some playing time, and Courtney and I got a bit more time in bed. Then we opened a few presents each, had breakfast, and then opened some more presents. The boys were so happy with everything they got: William a guitar, August an electrical piano, Abraham a tricycle and a stroller for his dolly, and lots of Legos, books, and games. The Powerminer set August got took him pretty much the rest of Christmas Day to put together, and William worked on his Lego sets. Abraham played with his train set for hours. Early afternoon we had our Swedish Christmas feast – wonderful! – and then we went for a walk on campus; Abraham pushing his stroller with Ernie in it, and William with his ant-collecting kit. In the evening we had some more Christmas food and played the games the boys had got: Monopoly and Scotland Yard. The boys also played their two Lego games, which are really cool. Everyone fell asleep early; exhausted and very happy.

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