I’m normally pretty on board with not starting Christmas too early or letting it go on too long (Christmas lights in February are just depressing), but sometimes you have a plan ahead. Since it takes mail anywhere from 2-4 weeks to get here under normal circumstances, last night we ordered a Christmas tree. It’s sort of silly since we have a tiny little apartment here and all of our decorations are in storage, but whatever. We’re going to be here for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, so I think anything that will give us a little holiday cheer is called for.

Although I am normally opposed to artificial trees, obviously getting a Christmas tree here is not really a practical option since a) 99% of the country is Muslim, b) there’s not exactly a booming tourist economy that would mean cheesy Christmas items catering to seasonal visitors, c) there are hardly any trees in this city period, and d) we’re not allowed to go out shopping anyway.

So we ordered a tree from target.com (pictured to the left), which will hopefully arrive here in one piece and before Christmas. Since we also have no Christmas lights here, we ordered one of the pre-lit trees. Hey, if you’re going to go artificial, why not go all the way and have it be convenient?

Although I won the full size/table size fight and our tree is 7.5 feet tall, I did have to concede that a full-size tree with a 60″ diameter would just not fit in here, therefore we got a “slim pine” — read, tall and skinny. We also ordered some shatterproof ornaments (believe me, delicate glass balls are NOT going to make it through the mauling that is our mail system), but then noticed after the fact that they’re not shipping for 2-6 weeks, so they may or may not make it here in time for Christmas. Oh well, at least we’ll have a tree! We also just got an ornament from one of our friends here, so we have at least one to put on our tree.

If anyone is feeling inspired to mail off some ornaments, I would totally welcome that, but let me reiterate my warning that our mail system is not gentle with packages. Anything you wouldn’t let your average 2 year-old play with is probably not a good idea to ship here. 🙂