Christmas time in a Muslim country is quite different, as you might expect. Of course, it’s not that there are no signs of it, there are. In the malls, there are reindeer and decorated trees. People (usually Muslims) gather around them to take photos.

Many stores have holiday sale signs in their windows; live trees are sold around town, as well as decorations for homes and trees in a variety of international stores. There are a few Christmas concerts at the churches and two or three holiday markets.

Some Muslims do have Christmas trees in their homes. A couple of my Muslim friends do and by the delighted reaction of my husband every year when we put it up, I don’t doubt it.

We have a tree in our house and visited a Christmas market that was held at the American Legation. We’ve had some get-togethers with friends (not necessarily related to the holiday). Other than that, there is not much evidence of Christmas.

I don’t mind it. Really, I don’t need all of the commercialism to remind me of the season of goodwill. I also don’t mind not having all the pressures of gift buying and giving, lots of parties and concerts, and family obligations. Of course, I send a few gifts and words of good cheer to family and close friends, but other than that, I am free of the stress of Christmas.

Usually, we have some visitors for the holidays, but unfortunately, that isn’t happening this year. I will miss old friends and family, but relish my new experiences and all the enrichment that they bring. I never travel to the United States at Christmas. Traveling is too expensive, the weather can be bad, and it adds to stress.

On Christmas Day, things will be as usual here in Morocco. We will probably celebrate quietly at home, as we ready to depart to Marrakech the next day, our present to each other. I wish everyone a stress-free holiday season celebrated in the way that you most desire.



  1. Sounds a lot like our Christmases. We started minimizing the stress a few years ago. A couple of foot high trees, a doodad or two, a buffet lunch, and we’re good to go. Merry Christmas to y’all and Happy New Year.

  2. I just saw you while out and about! (Christmas Eve) You were sitting at the Gran Cafe de Paris, wearing sunglasses, with a fresh bouquet of white flowers on your table. You were looking at your phone. Pro Tip: the bakery right next door sells the most delicious petit pains and croissants for only 2.5 dirhams. They go really well with a coffee or tea. It is perfectly acceptable to bring your own pastries at those types of cafes. By contrast, you cannot bring your own food at the more upscale full service cafes like the Fuga, Cappuccino or La Gelateria.

    • Karen Mills Reply

      Yes, that was me! I wish you would have said hello. I’ve discovered the bakery next door. Delicious! Why would anyone want to bake when you can buy those so delicious and so reasonable? All tips are welcome.

  3. I am a rather social person and am quite lively with friends or family, but can be quite shy around people I just met. I would have felt awkward saying hello! I’m also about half your age so I would have felt a bit intimidated saying hello right there on the sidewalk. Nothing personal, it’s just how I am. But I definitely recognized you immediately. I enjoy reading your blog. Right after walking past you, I drank a coffee at the Cafe Mirador. It has a decent view of the sea.

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