As a Muslim, raised in Egypt, I don't have too many Christmas memories.
Growing up, I remember the occasional colorful feast that I was invited to at my Christian friends home, as well as festive events at the American School that I went to. Also, my grandmother and paternal aunt (although not Christians) both run schools in the Middle East and get into the spirit of the season by putting up trees and decorations in their schools and homes.
One unforgettable memory was visiting my paternal grandmother with my wife, a few years go, when she lived in Amman, Jordan. It was my wife's first time to meet her, but we expected her to be sleeping when we arrived in the evening, and that we would see her the following morning. Yet, my eccentric and adorable granny was waiting for us in the kitchen, all decked out like a glittering Christmas tree herself, and impatient to go out to a party!
Quickly, take a shower, and let's head out she instructed us, before returning to work on her Christmas greeting cards.
That's my life-loving granny in the middle (in the first photo) flanked by my two paternal aunts. She was in her late eighties at the time, and did not drive. Unfortunately, her driver was not there, either, so she asked my wife (who was visiting the Middle East for the first time) to do the honors. But, wait, the plot thickens: the car had no breaks and we did not have the address to the home we were invited to!
Nevermind, my mischievous granny was still in a great mood and my wife... well, high on adrenaline! The plan was for me to get out of the car and knock on doors of homes that looked like they might be celebrating :o Luckily, I got it right early on in the game and we ended up having a fun Christmas party with kids caroling and all! At the end of the night, around 2 in the morning, our hosts pulled my wife and I, aside, and whispered:
Make sure she gets home, safely. Last year, after our party, your grandmother went party hopping...
Well, we were pooped and the dear octogenarian party-animal consented to head back home. When we returned to the US, she confided in me that she checked into a hospital after our departure to recover.
I forgot that I was old she confessed to me. Ay ya yay, bless her heart!
Now, that I'm based in the US, and with a Catholic wife, I celebrate the season more regularly with my in-laws, who also throw great parties. Below, is a sweet picture of a Christmas tree that my wife and I decorated, with our angelic god-daughter looking on :)
Happy Holidays to you, and yours, from this deranged snowman :)