Saudi Arabia/USA: Reflections of Christmas

christmas tree


This post is more a series of fond memories and reflections on the special times of Christmas in Beduland!

abdullah carol first xmasIt still feels strange to not have Abdullah physically present during the Christmas holidays but his spirit is certainly around.  Abdullah was always and good sport and joyously participated in my family’s holiday traditions.  He not only would help with the Christmas baking but over the years he had his favorites that were included in our baking list.  In addition, he became an expert at finding unique stockings and special stocking stuffers.  He loved how in my family, in addition to traditional gifts, we exchanges stockings which were also full of surprises.

I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to be here for Christmas 2012.  I had some difficult times during the year in my battle with cancer.  At one point my doctor thought it would be time to call Hospice but thankfully that did not come to fruition.  As a result, every moment of the Christmas season has been very special.

My son and I did our traditional Christmas baking together.  We made both cookies and candies so we had delicious sweets to share with family, friends and neighbors.  We have a few other traditions that we also follow in our family during the Christmas season.

Back when my son was young we had a rule that he could not open presents until everyone in the house was awake.  However, he could open the surprises in his Christmas stocking whenever he woke up.  As a joke, I started putting a National Enquirer magazine in his stocking each year from when he was about six years old.  He loved to read and would amuse himself reading through its stories until we were ready to open the presents under the Christmas tree.

Another tradition is the annual Christmas stocking.  Each year family members receive a new Christmas stocking filled with surprises.  My son and daughter-in-law have saved all their stockings over the years and they now grace the entire circular stairway each Christmas.   xmas stockings

But Christmas is not only about getting new gifts each year.  We always take special time out as a family to give thanks for the true meaning of Christmas and prayers of appreciation of what we have and the joy of being a family.  Given my health scares earlier, this year’s time of thanks and prayers was even more poignant and joyful.

There’s nothing like seeing the absolute delight and joy on a child’s face (ie, my grandsons) first thing in the morning when they first see the tree complete with presents and treasures underneath.  I love watching their innocence and how they jump with joy in their excitement!

Christmas is one of the special days that I reflect upon all the gifts and love I have in my life.  The most precious gift of all is that of family.

So in closing this post, after you’ve read it, go ahead….give the first special person you see a hug….just because!




5 Responses

  1. May you overcome your battle with cancer.

  2. Thank you, Penny. I pray for a miracle! (smile)

  3. Love the photo of you and your husband, very nice couple :). Wishing you all the best!

  4. Saudi Police arrested 41 Christians for “Plotting to celebrate christmas”

    Whats more appalling was that the Saudi’s broke into a Diplomats residence where the event was being held!!!

    And it was not like that these Christians were trying to have a mardi gras of some sort, they had just organized a very private event in the confines of the residence, making sure that they don’t offend the easily offended messed up sensibilities of the Saudi’s.

    This is getting way out of hand, all the inter-religious peace train talks by Saudi’s is just a sham…

  5. What wonderful memories Carol. We pray for many more to still be made with your family. Much love and prayers for your health and New Year.

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