Christmas is not a holiday celebrated in Turkey. Their holiday that is similar to Christmas is New Years. They exchange gifts and spend time with their family and eat lots of food. Only recently have they begun to put trees up in their home and decorate them. So, school was in session and kids were in attendance. They did give us foreigners the day off though. On Christmas Eve we helped our friend Sarah decorate her flat and we enjoyed Matt's flaming figgy pudding. Gary also made a paper tree in our flat and put it up on the wall. We spent Christmas day with 12 other Americans. We enjoyed brunch together, wore our pajamas, and watched Elf. We did a white elephant gift exchange and a book exchange. Everyone ended up with a small gift and some new books to read. It was a relaxing and fun day.
On Saturday, Gary spent the day playing with his new gift to himself, a guitar. I went with a few girls for an afternoon at the Hamam. I was scrubbed, lathered, cracked and then they washed my hair. The walk home was tough as I felt like a wet noodle. The day continued as we once again got together with the other teachers and watched A Christmas Story (and a few episodes of Glee).
Stay tuned for out New Year's Post. We are heading to Karaburun, a small fishing village about an hour away!