Adonis Diaries

Mining my diary: A Christmas Eve in Lebanon

Posted on: April 21, 2020

Mining my diary: A Christmas Eve in Lebanon

Note: Re-edit of “Christmas Eve in a Christian family: Lebanon; ( Written in 2006 and posted on August 17, 2009)”

It is Sunday 10:20 a.m. of Christmas Eve 2006.  The sky is clear, sunny, and somehow cold in the 15 degrees C . I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and my mom was already working in the kitchen.

My little niece Chelsea (6 already) was helping her out through countless suggestions; mom’s fingers were so cold that they felt crippled and then she decided to heat some water.

Nephew William was already gone. (Forgot to where)

I worked for an hour in the garden and gathered greens.  Victor and family are off to Orthodox church (in M7idssi).  Victor had to pick Cedric up from work late last night because Cedric had misplaced the car keys.

There was an explosion across from the American University in Beirut; we learned that it was a gas container of a small eatery.

I read and wrote till 11 a.m. and drove to Beit-Chabab. I did not find aunt Montaha. I dropped off three books at the local library and walked to visit my cousin Joseph Ghoussoub. I visited my aunt Theresa on my back home.

Victor dropped off Adrea home and resumed driving toward the supermarket Spinneys and returned around 4 o’clock.

I helped niece Adrea carry a few groceries. Joanna showed me the area where the gifts are stacked in a corner of the dining room in her grand-mom apartment.

I counted about 36 wrapped gifts and it seems that Yuhanna (Joanna’s beau) contributed about 5 gifts and helped Joanna last evening in wrapping gifts before they went out together.

I had lunch with mom because dad had already eaten, and Cedric and Adrea were eating in front of the TV screen.

I had a siesta from 2 to 4 p.m. Mom was exhausted and had a sponge bath.  I picked up the dried clothes off the lines and went to my study room in the lower floor.

Adrea asked me whether I saw Joanna and she checked William’s bed because Joanna sometimes slept there for total privacy.

Mom is at my sister Raymonde’s on the third floor, helping her put the last touch for this evening dinner.

Ethiopia, backed by the USA, started the war against the Somali Islamists who are supported by Sudan and Eritrea.  They found another 46 unidentified bodies in Iraq and half a dozen US soldiers were dead and injured yesterday.

Italy’s Brodi PM is in Lebanon and had visited his troops (the UNIFIL) in the south within the multinational forces.

I would like to spend my night at the Downtown where the opposition has erected 1,500 tents and four huge tents complete with all the amenities; each one of the large tents can accommodate 2,000 persons; a midnight mass will be held at St George’s cathedral there.

Joanna and Yuhanna had left around noon and spent 7 hours walking City Mall for a last spree of buying.

Ashley did her hair and dyed it and left about 2 p.m. with Cedric carrying a box of cake.

Cedric went jogging about 4 p.m. in the cold and froze his ass off.

The former boyfriend of Joanna, Hikmat, paid us a visit; he is on vacation from Toulouse (France) and working on lab research for the electromagnetic switches of micro robots (nano-technology) that are injected in the human body to perform non-invasive controlled surgery.  In addition of grant money for his graduate studies, Hikmat teaches courses and loves Toulouse. As long as Hekmat is excited in his research project there are no chances that he might return to settle in Lebanon.

I joined the entire family after 8:30 p.m. and had a light dinner of salad, asparagus soup, an assortment of cheese and cold cuts, some pizza, and wine and Coca-Cola.

My dad went to sleep around 9:15; he usually sleeps by 8 p.m.

As usual, by 9:45 , little Chelsea started whining that she wanted to open the gifts so we moved to the sitting room and the unwrapping of gifts began.

William, Victor, Ashley, and Adrea took turn taking digital pictures.  It took the better of two hours for this exercise and everybody was satisfied with his gifts; after much hugging and trying out of the gifts the midnight mass project was shot.

Adrea did not have to complain and cry this year because she got more than she expected and spent an awful lot of time trying everything she received.

Chelsea was ecstatic with the skirts and the red bunny pair of slippers.

My mom said that by tomorrow Raymonde will have to make room for the new clothes and send the older ones to the “Bon Pasteur“, a close-by Christian institution of nuns, where the offered bundles are supposedly redistributed to the needy.

Joanna prepared four copies of a 1.2-meter laminated board spread of her photos with her friends and family.

Yuhanna complained that the dog Misha had twice more photos than he had; worst, his two photos were not satisfactory because they showed him wearing the baggy white suit that he and Joanna were asked to wear while cleaning up a stretch of a beach for cleaning it up of oil spill during Israel pre-emptive July War.

Cedric was sprawled on the carpet amid his gifts of Jeans, the deodorants, and the underwear heaped upon him.

William received a “tak wan doo” white suit and a very long woolen shawl that he wrapped over his head as the Sikhs.

By midnight William went to sleep because he had to wake up at 4 am in order to join the yoga ashram in Gemmayzeh; Cedric hit the sac also.

Yuhanna brought with him the saxophone, expecting that we might enjoy a family concert with Joanna at her Jazz flute, and Adrea at my classical guitar (that I never touched), and William at my accordion (that I never played). This concert did not happen.

Around 12:30 we had cakes and most everybody was feeling drowsy; Yuhanna was to sleep overnight and William prepared him the folding sofa downstairs in the basement floor where he had set up his study, by my room study.

By 1:30 a.m. my mom and I carried our gifts down to our first level flat.

(Funny why I failed to mention what where the gifts I received or the one I gave?…I usually offer books that go unread, or cash in envelop, and so does mother…)

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