Sunday, December 10, 2006

A Merry Christmas weekend

Ex-pats are leaving Bosnia in droves in the coming week to make it home for the holidays. So this, Dec.9-10, the last weekend was a string of parties. I'm taking a party break at the moment as I write this. I found an old-fashioned Christmas in Sarajevo.

The Posners invited about 10 people, including a family with little children, to their little apartment already filled with three cats and a dog. We have a fabulous brunch (sockeye salmon and potato salad and guacamole and scones!) and then Ann began pulling out plastic tubs and boxes from a store room and under her bed. She has a vast collection of ornaments collected from her assignments and travel. Russian, Czech, native American, Indian and German stars and bulbs and garlands. And ropes of lights. And we all decorated her tree and house. There was lots of talking and coffee-drinking and Christmas carols on the stereo. The cats went nuts trying to catch flashes from the ornaments on the wall and furniture: Nick the little boy in attendance drove us to distraction with the pop-up Santa that piped "Ho ho ho Merry Christmas" endlessly and Ann made us wear goofy reindeer antlers and reindeer ear muffs. I didn't want it to end. I'd never thought about having a decorating party. I used to want my family to get involved in decorating but the ex hated Christmas and the boys grew out of it way too fast. Today, there were no arguments or nasty outbreaks and no sulking other than Tim the labrador puppy who was kept from eating wreaths and light strings. Maybe the secret of holidays is to spend them among people to whom you are not related?

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