We went shopping today in Sweifiyeh, looking for stocking stuffers and other small gifts. Bart had to stop at a store by himself, to pick up something he'd ordered for me. (I peeked. It was a jewelry store. He always buys better presents than I do.)
When he caught up with me, he reported that the women working behind the counter were covered in the traditional Muslim fashion. Over the loudspeakers, they were playing Christmas carols - in Arabic. And there were two Chinese women in the store, singing along with the carols, but in English. Weird.
Meanwhile, in my store, I found all sorts of stocking stuffers and lots of Christmas wrapping paper. I paid for my purchases, and when the sales clerk handed over my change, he said "Merry Christmas."
Many of the houses in our neighborhood have Christmas lights up - not so many as you'd see back home, but more than I expected.
The boys have a half day at school tomorrow before school shuts down for the holiday. Kyra, on the other hand, goes to a local school. They only get two days off for Christmas: Thursday and Sunday. Their long winter break isn't until late January. And yet - tomorrow Kyra's class has a holiday performance, and from what I can tell, they'll be singing lots of the same Christmas classics we hear back home.
Confusing, isn't it? But nice. Between school concerts and cookie baking for holiday parties and haunting the DPO looking for packages, it's beginning to feel as though Christmas is coming.