185: Christmas? Or NOT?

For those who may be new to this blog site, My husband and I live and work overseas from our native territory of Georgia (Southern USA) and we call Morocco home now – at least for the last few years. Morocco is on the tip northwestern corner of Africa, and is primarily an Islamic country, though it is a modern, much more tolerant, Islamic country than the ones that make the news for their lack of tolerance for the beliefs of others. That might be why you do NOT hear of Morocco much in the news: most of what goes on here is good news, and therefore, not newsworthy for reporting upon.

Because the majority religion is Islam, Christmas is pretty much just another day. This is a teensy-weensy little problem for conservative, Protestant, Bible-belt Southern Americans. We had to search high and low for a Christmas tree, but we found one (second-hand). Then, the decorations for it presented another problem, but we managed since I am an art teacher at the small international school where I work. I can make them. So: tree is decorated, even with fairy lights, which apparently Moroccans use to decorate various other things besides Christmas trees. The last problem to surmount was the presence of our ten refugee kitties. You guys KNOW what happens when cat meets Christmas tree: OOOOOHHHHhhh! Lookee at all the kitty toys mom and dad gave me!!!! NOT. So, we found a great place for the tree: out on the balcony where all our neighbors can see our beautiful, sparkly, lit-up tree at night, and our kitties cannot touch.

The problem then becomes – how do you celebrate when there is just you? There is a get-together pot-luck dinner with the people at work, but it is a “welcome-winter-holidays” occasion, not Christmas, because about half the staff is Moroccan, and Christmas is not how they swing. The university hosts an evening of entertainment put on by the local non-denominational, small church group that is Christmas-oriented for all the international faculty and students, so we don’t feel TOO ignored, but it is one evening. A couple of hours. That’s it.

This past summer, Mojo and I decided to book a week of our “winter break” in Portugal, at a time-share resort, to use up our last remaining timeshare points. Portugal is Catholic. Christ is OK, culturally, there. So, we will be spending our Christmas holidays in a country that actually celebrates Christmas, for the first time in three years. I cannot WAIT!!

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