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Christmas Caroling

Another semester ended and I am now in Boston to visit my mom. It’s Christmas and everywhere is decorated with red and green ribbons! Christmas makes me miss our own Eid e Norooz so much… The excitement that comes with it…Everything should be in order as if the end of the world or rather the beginning of the world is approaching. The smell of the new clothes and all those ‘eidees’ that are awaiting you…
One of my wonderful American friends who goes to school with me in Ohio and whose family live in Boston, invited me to a Christmas Caroling party in her small town outside Boston. I, of course accepted her invitation, not knowing what a Christmas Caroling party is really all about. When we got to the party, I took off my coat, but my friend told me that I’d better hang on to it since we will be heading out soon. I was thinking to myself, “Out? Why? It’s really cold? Didn’t we just get here?” In a short while our hosts who were all covered in their big winter coats asked everybody to leave the house with them. It was something like 30 of us. The hosts gave us little booklets full of Christmas Caroling songs. We stood outside the house next-door and everybody started to sing off the booklet. I also opened the small red booklet and started to pretend to sing;

Jingle Bells
Dashing Through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go,
Laughing all the way

Jingle bells jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

We sang many other songs that I had never even heard in my entire life!
They all sounded very charming and spiritual . As we were singing, a couple of little cute children came outside the house and stared at us with a glow in their eyes. It was obvious that they were expecting Santa Claus. We went from one house to another in this small town, singing and wishing children and their families a happy Christmas.
Some of the people in our group asked where I am from. I would say, “Iran”. One responded, “Oh, the Arabia. How is it living over there?” The other said, “Oh, wow, really? Really?” Another person that had heard my mother is a women’s rights activist said to me, “Now help me with this: So do you guys have ‘feminism’ in there? Is feminism allowed?”
The whole time, I kept on thinking that I might be one the few non-Christian Iranians who is put Caroling that night. I felt unique and like a girl who is in love with exploring things that don’t belong to her. She just wants to pass by and observe as many things as possible on her way in this life. That night I felt that I had sneaked into one of those colorful books that growing up in Iran, my relatives used to send me from the West. I didn’t feel real. I had transformed into a steamy dream somewhere faraway behind the stars that I used to count from my bed in Tehran every night before falling asleep.
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