This here is a little post about the Christmas holidays in Tunisia. I wanted to make it a nice one, within the obvious safety limits. Here’s our version of How to Have a 2020 Holiday:

Zoomin’ with family(ies)

It wouldn’t be 2020 without some zooming with the fam. It’s both a poor substitute and the next best thing to being there. (Side note: YouTube video from 1970s Ma Bell commercial, for which “Feelings” is the soundtrack!)

On top, Kyle, Stevie Ray “Sylvester”, Kyna, Tony and Sox, and on the bottom Cole, Lauren, Ethelyn, Keri and Dad.

The calls were too insane, too chaotic, and too short. Love them folks, every one.

Eating Christmas cookies

The idea was not to just eat them, but to share them. They’re all boxed up and ready to go but I got skittish after Ramon’s coworker tested positive for coronavirus. They’re in the fridge now, till Ramon’s PCR test in a day or two. Fingers crossed for a big fat negatory! (In the meantime a couple of the boxes have fallen down and broken, and of course I couldn’t give those away.)

Martha Stewart’s got nuthin’ on our holiday!

A little decorating never goes amiss, amiright? Especially when one can find cute little Tunisian ornaments.

A celebration for Christmas dinner

Absolutely a mainstay of any happenin’ holiday, this time (and only this time, in all my born days), I was in charge of cooking. The gesture of elan below is because I’m not cooking anything till 2021!

With the pomegranate seeds and parsley dressed across the brisket, it looks very decorated in and of itself! For exhaustive detail on cooking and cookies over here at this other blog post about the Year of Cooking Dangerously. Thanksgiving dinner gets its own treatment here.


I’m all nostalgic these days, but I know I can’t replicate home Christmas here. Ramon’s got his family’s traditions, too, so we’re blending and inventing as we go along. We watched Scrooged, which I think is freakin’ hilarious (“The bitch hit me with a toaster”). I also made him watch Pieces of April (CLASSIC!) at Thanksgiving. But those ridiculous movies from the Way Back don’t always have the effect you’d hope! I think he liked Die Hard best…

Me, I liked seeing the full unadulterated Grinch online. Max the dog is my favorite and my strongest memory is of revulsion that the Grinch whipped that poor dog all the way back up the mountain. And thus, a little bleeding heart liberal is born…

As an adult listening to the Boris Karloff narration, I have to say Dr. Seuss’ capabilities are not nearly as impressive as I once thought they were. I mean, even I could write a rhyming story if I get to rhyme things with themselves (“they would sing, sing, sing, sing sing sing sing!”) or just make up words to fit the rhyme pattern (kerfloozles, wogglers, balloosties and brogglers or whatever.) Anyway, it was a lovely trip down mem’ry lane.

And we’ve done some online shopping, having things sent to an address in the UK where a Tunisian guy picks it up and puts it in a van, drives through the Chunnel and over to Genoa, Italy, boards a ferry, and brings it to us in La Marsa for the Entirely Reasonable Price of 5 pounds sterling per kilo of weight. (Yeah, when I lay it all out like that, it does sound slightly stupid!) Anyway, the poor fellow barely made it out of England just before the new travel ban. Arriving in Tunisia from the UK, he was persona-non-grata.

But today the dude arrived! Ramon got his blue t-shirt, I got my silky PJs, and we both got stockings full of candy canes and LifeSavers. (The stockings came from Siroko, the company that makes the little camels I’ve been handing out ever since I moved here – tooo cute!.) I also made Ramon a trail of clues around the house for a present I bought locally – a photo book on Tunisian architecture. This was a fun way to spend the afternoon, since neither of us have much work this week. Also, Ramon got a PCR test today because last week his colleague tested positive. We won’t have the results till tomorrow but after such a nasty invasive test, it was nice to treat him well!