Coming from Austria, where everything shines and blinks starting by October, I wasn’t expecting much of that Christmas spirit in a Muslim country. I was surprised that around the Second Advent shopping malls and foreigner populated restaurants and bars begin to decorate for Christmas – just as in Europe. For an Austrian, three weeks before Christmas it´s kind of late, but a person who likes to avoid any Christmas stress (like me) it´s a perfect scene. Since living in Jordan I understood what it means to be relaxed while Christmas shopping.
There is almost nothing you can´t find including all kinds of blinking decorations, poinsettias, Advent wreaths, Christmas cookies and even gingerbread. It´s fun strolling through the malls looking at all these decorations and trees. Even more surprising are the friendly and relaxed salesmen (compared to Austria). One time, the owner of a shop gave me a small Christmas present, and watching him while doing that, he seemed happier about it than me. Just amazing!
I heard about an annual event in Amman called ‘Christmas at the Boulevard’. It takes place in the neighbourhood of Abdali, a very modern and newly constructed area. The Boulevard is a part of this area with supreme shops and restaurants. I was really surprised by the gorgeous decorations, huge Christmas tree and local Christmas choirs. The Christmas stalls sell handmade Jordanian gifts but also mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.
Christmas in Jordan is not what I expected at all. There is so much on offer…even hotels that have Christmas bazaars which also serve a special dinner on Christmas Eve. It was a big surprise for me, but a very joyful one.
Cheers with sunbeams.