Home > Personal Ponderings, Travels, Tunisian Life > The Real Value of Holidays

The Real Value of Holidays

This Christmas holiday, it was Punjabi family time everyday. Dinner parties, like the legendary. Parantha Fest where my grandma and masi make 3 different types of Indian latkas and we all get together to competively eat as many as possible. Pub nights, like our Christmas Eve drink fest at Woodlands where we enjoyed both the beer and running into my aunt’s heavily hair gelled ex-students, all brown of course. Can’t forget general down time, where we battled it out over ‘Articulate’ and drank cappucinno’s while watching Singh is King. Topping it all of with a cherry is the gloriously golden turkey we had for Christmas dinner that had…. a thurka masala stuffing. 

Normally, my family does this almost eerie Pleasantville Christmas where we do a grand tree, a special dinner, open presents at a precise time, crank up christmas carols and eat a special brunch at a precise time, clean up then start cooking the main event altogether, then we eat at precisely 4:30, then we drink/desert/chat. Then it’s over. Just like that!

 I think that’s what I forgot though. It’s not about the exterior actions of Christmas, but the closeness it facilitates. I’m not Christian and so this holiday carves out a spécial time for me that is far beyond the Santa Clause or the birthday boy or lavish meals. It’s about having the luxury of time and using that to be with those near and dear to me. Shame I didn’t get to see my puppy 😦 I did a skype chat with my family and my baby Leo had already forgotten me. Stupid Cavalier King Charles’. They have no loyalties, as suggested by that happy go lucky name.

But in addition to family far away, I also got to reconnect with old friends all around London and I loved being able to tell my cousins, “Ok, I’m off to London Bridge! Hope it doesn’t fall down”. I’m such a christmas sweater wearing looser. 

Despite all the endless shopping, cuddles, and amazing food, I must admit, I was quite happy to come back to Tunisia. I have a new appreciation for it after being away. Omar was there waiting for me and his warm silliness made me so glad to be back. After I unloaded my duty free purchases of flavored Absolute, we went off for a sea side lunch outdoors, and then a walk along the beach in Lac where an amusement park with a ferris wheel slowly turns and techno heavily pumps.I saw the police reprimand a cute couple because they were getting a little too snuggly and the holy ghost couldn’t fit in between. I laughed for ages. I love this place. I love the surprises. And God, I love the weather. England sucks in that department! 

And that’s the other thing the holidays did for me, it made me appreciate what I have before me each day. I have exactly one month left in Tunisia and I think that’s the greatest Christmas present of all. Another chance to live what I love.

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