Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Grandma Got Run Over By a...Camel?

I guess my only real complaint here in Egypt this Christmastime is that, on the surface,  it just don't feeeeeeel like Christmastime.  At all.

It's not just that there's no snow or cold. (As far as I'm concerned, that's a blessing.  I loathe cold and dreary and snowy.)  I don't need that stuff to feel all Christmassy.  In fact, we had a nice Christmas in Los Angeles a few years ago, and it's felt fine and Christmassy there, despite the beach and sun and warm (beautiful, perfect) weather.

Nope.  It's something more, like...

No jingly music in the stores or restaurants. No crazy 1950's lights hanging on the lampposts.  No ringing bells on the street corners.  No eggnog milkshakes at McDonald's.  It's just not...home.  It's just not...what I'm used to.

Initially, I made the best of it.  Decorated up our sweet little pre-lit Christmas tree and stuck those reusable plastic window clings in the window.  Kids wore their Santa hats to pajama day at school last week.  I still threatened that Santa totally won't show up this year and give them any presents if they don't shut up and go to bed.  Like all good little children do.  But outside of the home and work it's just not Christmassy.  And I haven't been in a jolly good mood about it.


But.  Finally, finally!  We had an event this past weekend that really succeeded in getting me in the Christmas spirit.  Santa arrived here.  ON A CAMEL.

I can't make this stuff up!  It.Was.Awesome.

Arriving in style.  Cairo style.
At the local American Club, Jason and I took the kids to see Santa at breakfast.  (Dude. They serve bacon. REAL BACON.)  And lo and behold! Santa arrived to breakfast on a camel.  It was so crazy watching him swaying back and forth on that gigantic animal, while Rudolf the RedNosed Reindeer was playing in the background. Surreal even.  And I found myself laughing with the kids as they decorated cookies and make snowflakes and ate bacon.  They sat on the camel and then on Santa's lap, where Owen proclaimed he wanted cash for Christmas this year, in $USD and not Egyptian Pounds.  And then I gave Owen *THE LOOK* and he quickly changed his wish list to legos and a DS game. Abby shyly asked for a stuffed Santa toy and something Hello Kitty.  And baby elf Kellen?  He was screaming and clawing in terror to get away from Santa.  It was hysterical.

Ten seconds later, Kellen had a meltdown,
clawing his way off Santa's lap.
Because I realized that Christmassy isn't just a mood or a song or that particular feeling I get when I drive down any Mainstreet USA decked out in fake snowflakes and shimmery lights on poles.  Or walking through Target and buying tons of stocking stuffers.  Or when I finally get that season's eggnog milkshake.  (Although I admit that stuff is good, good stuff.  And I do indeed miss it all.)

Christmassy this year is marked by being with the kids and the fab hubby and watching Santa arrive in style on a camel.  It's a good feeling, even though it's a different feeling.  The Christmas decorations with the palm trees in the background, the warm air, the sand, and changing lyrics to mesh with the local decor (I think "Grandma Got Run Over By A Camel" totally rocks.  Or how about "Up on the Pyramid" instead of "Up on the Rooftop"?  Don't groan.  You'd do it, too.).  All of it is Christmassy.

So no matter what holiday you celebrate, or how you celebrate or where you celebrate, enjoy.   Grab on to your Christmassy, whatever it is, and don't let go.


  1. Yeah, I miss the eggnog flavored drinks too. But how many kids can say they got to sit on Santa's camel?!? It's like the special edition of Reindeer!! Totally exclusive.

  2. That sounds awesome! Can't wait for the boys to see Santa on the camel next year. We even bought a fake tree this year we are lovingly calling Arthur the Deployment Tree. (why Arthur? I have no idea.)

    Oh, and we'll eat some bacon in your honor...