Monday, December 27, 2004

Fusion Confusion Strikes Again

Well, it's two days past Christmas. I know a Christmas blog is little late, but I needed the time to recoop from a flu-ish feeling past two days.

Christmas day here in Pakistan was a lovely 78 degrees and sunny. The playing field behind our house hosted a series of soccer matches. I knew something special was up when I awoke and looked out my bedroom window, I saw folding chairs, shiny new goals with nets and the playing field marked out with chalk. The team that plays there almost daily now had matching uniforms and three other teams to challenge. That went on all day. Hubby and I sat on the lawn, soaking up some sun and watching the action.

We were hosting Hemi and Demi-Hemi (her little sister) from Lahore. They had arrived late at night so I knew there would be no activity in the house till about noon. At that point, Crayon came over with enough Pizza Hut pizza and fixings to feed an army. We lunched, laughed and then decorated cookies.

Although I stopped buying Christmas gifts since I got to Pakistan, there was a growing number of gift boxes under the tree. I have always kept family gift giving to a minimum and tried to put the lion's share of my holiday budget into charity giving, but here in Pakistan, I had eliminated holiday gifts altogether.

I don't speak Urdu, I don't shop alone and what's the use of buying another piece of fabric at inflated prices? I really hate shopping here. It's like shopping at a dollar store (all low quality junk) at downtown prices. "Special price just for you, Baji." "This is imported all the way from TAIWAN!" It's all just Dollar Store rejects and needless markup prices.

Needless to say, when the I opened the girl's gifts, I felt sad that I hadn't bought them anything. Why can other people find lovely gifts here were I can't? I guess I'm just clueless at buying gifts.

That evening Chai joined the group. Crayon brought the restaurant rotisseriechicken. Owl made sweet potatoe casserole, oven roasted potatoes and German chocolate cake. Abez made wonderful creamed spinach. I really didn't do any work. After a delicious dinner we opened the gifts.

Here's were the fusion confusion really comes in. Wrapped and placed lovingly under the tree from Abez and Owl, was a Bible for a Hemi and a Koran for Crayon. (They had both expressed interest in these books.) I got a lovely garnet necklace from Owl, and a chanelle shawl from Abez, and chocolates. Choti, Crayon's daughter, drew each person a wonderful picture. She is such a loving child. They were so sweet.

After dessert, cookies, cakes, chocolates, nuts, and more of the same... we played scrabble and finished decorating cookies. I had a gingerbread house for Crayon and Hemi/Demi to decorate. It was their first time ever at such an activity. Chai won the scrabble game hands down.

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas thanks to my loving family and wonderful friends. Thanks to my hubby for allowing me to corrupt his Islamic house with my very un-Islamic decorations and music for a month. To my lovely daughters for all their work to make my holiday special. To Crayon for bringing the magic of children at Christmas to my too-adult house. For Hemi and Demi Hemi for braving the Lahore fog and a long bus ride to join us. To Chai for spending her precious study-break time with us. That girl's free time is more valuable than diamonds.