And Christmas the year before that? Magic. My best friend from childhood flew across the seas to visit. An American family in Damascus invited us to be a part of their family for Christmas. Ten-or-so of us in total gathered for the best imitation of an old-fashioned-American Christmas imaginable. On Boxing Day, my friend and I ventured into Turkey. We were supposed to go with a bigger group of friends who had been in Lebanon for Christmas, but they decided they liked Lebanon too much to follow through, so it was just the two of us, and my friend got sick. But it was magic anyway. The highlight of THAT week was watching the second Lord of the Rings Trilogy in Turkey. In Turkish. Friend on left had already seen it in English in the U.S. so helped me follow along. Friend on the right spoke Turkish so translated the key points to Arabic for me.
by the way, THIS was the Christmas when I got my FABULOUS DUVET!!!