(specifically, when over 4,000 miles away from the traditions of Christmases past)
- last minute shopping trips (to the Medina, instead of the mall)
- a Christmas tree (not from the Christmas tree farm, but from the wonderful store Yatout. Substitute a Fez for a star/angel)
- stockings (my lovely mother sent mine with me in August, already filled. I filled big socks for my host sisters to share the tradition with them)
- Secret Santa (with my YES family, thanks to Jordan for the hammam basket).
-church on Christmas Eve (one service at Rabat International Church, another at the Cathedral. Both lovely).
- a delicious Christmas breakfast (at my friends' host family's home)
-some sort of giving back (I taught English class today)
- a delicious Christmas dinner (we were invited to the home of an American expat family here in Rabat, whose kindness overflowed. I also skyped into my family's Christmas dinner back home)
- wonderful people to share the holiday with (my host family, my YES Abroad family, the family who welcomed us into their home, the NSLIY students we met at dinner, my Moroccan friends, my family and friends back home)
Mix together in a few wonderful, chaotic days.
I thought that my first Christmas away from all the traditions that have marked this season in the past would be lonely. But in reality, the only thing missing was snow. And Rabat gave us some pouring rain to make up for it. I will never forget this wonderful Christmas and everyone who shared it with me. My Christmas bubbled over with light and joy, and in that sense, it was just like every Christmas I've ever known. Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating all over the world :)