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Bibi, a Somalian expatriate that lives in Jordan, interviewed two families about how they spend their Christmas in Jordan.

This is what the two families have in common:

They decorate the house and the Christmas tree, and all the presents will be placed under it. They bake many different kinds of cookies.
They start making a Christmas cake at the beginning of December, by soaking dried fruits in brandy, rum and cognac; later they add flour, eggs, baking powder, and bake it. The cake will be served on Christmas Eve.

Family No.1 – Traditional

They celebrate on the 24th of December, having dinner at around 19:30. After dinner they go to church for the mass that lasts one hour.

Dinner consist of: Stuffed Turkey, stuffed chicken for people who don’t like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, and Arabic foods such as Mahshi (stuffed zucchini), vine leaves cooked in tomato juice, Kibeh (soft mince meat mixed with burgul and then shaped into deep fried little balls). They also make salads such as Tabuleh, Humus, made of pureed chick peas mixed with yoghurt, garlic, lemon and Tahina (sesame puree), Mutabil (grilled eggplant which is then mashed and mixed with garlic, Tahina, yoghurt and salt and pepper).

The 25th of December is celebrated at the elders house (grand parents) with a Christmas lunch, which again it consists of all the above Arabic foods and salads, but with lamb instead of turkey.
From the afternoon of the 25th till the 28th it is visiting time: guests will be coming with chocolates and sweets and the whole family will be visiting relatives and friends.

Family No.2 – Modern

They celebrate on the 24th of December, the dinner starts at around 20:30 and lasts until late. The family will be cooking the whole day, and stop at around 17:00, when they get ready to go out: they won’t go to church, though, but to one of the five star Hotels and listen to Christmas carols.

Their dinner consists of: stuffed Turkey, cranberry sauce, Kibeh, pumpkin pie. The menu of this family does not have the usual Arabic salads; they opt for Greek salads, fried chicken noodles, and other Western dishes.

On the 25th, at the lunch at the elders house, the menu will still consist of all Arabic foods and salads, the leg of a lamb accompanied by Safiha (little breads that look like small pizzas, with mince meat on top). Again from the 25th on wards they will be visiting relatives, friends and exchange chocolates.

Dessert: Christmas cake, chocolates and cookies will be served from the 24th to the 26th of December.


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