Xmas 2019 Wrap Up`

Let’s just say there were lots of presents and naps involved 🙂  We went big for my Turkish DIL and her second Christmas with her grandparents visiting.  They live in an apartment down the street from us, her grandparents are staying with them, while our house is full with my mom and youngest son.  She’s more of a hostess than I am, we brought the party to them.

What does that mean?  This house has no decorations, they’re all over at their apartment.

Turkey is a Muslim country, she didn’t really know what a big deal Christmas was in the U.S. until last year.  Not like we’re very religious, to me it’s more celebrating the fact that I made it through another Winter Solstice and they days are getting longer…YAY!!  Don’t think that’s a coincidence it’s a few days later.

There have been several times I’ve wondered what her grandparents could possibly be thinking about this??  They don’t speak english, we’ve been using google translate which only does a so so job of translating.  Shopping just for shopping’s sake?  Mass, out of control consumption?  The streets were crowded, less so than Istanbul.

I try to get stuff for the kids they wouldn’t get for themselves, it was kind of a nice shoe Christmas.  Then I brought my backgammon board over that I bought in Greece over a decade ago.  It’s as beautiful wooden board I made the mistake of buying in Athens at the beginning of our trip, leaving no room in my suitcase for the rest of the trip.  The Greeks & Turks are rivals, especially in backgammon 🙂  (Tavli)

After presents and naps, grandpa and I settled down for a mean game of Tavli.  It was going well for me, almost gammoned him one game.  Then the beads came out…I don’t know what the beads mean (prayer beads?) but my winning streak was over.  Grandpa fired it up to “game on” and whipped me handily.

There have only been two people who could beat me, my DIL & now her grandpa.  My Greek FIL and I used to play occasionally, I’d call it even although when I think back on it maybe he just let me win?

I found a travel backgammon game for grandpa’s gift, a few San Francisco items for grandma.

I hope they’re enjoying their U.S. stay during the holidays for us and that they feel comfortable that their granddaughter is being spoiled by our capitalist country.  One thing that’s been very embarrassing is the homeless encampments on our shopping trips out to Berkeley, that’ll ruin tourism.  All throughout France and Istanbul on our trip in September I saw maybe 3 homeless?  It’s an epidemic here, especially the past few years.

On to New Years, one more day of family/friends at the house and we’re off to exchange some wrong sizes for the week.  Battle the traffic yet again.

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