Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Memories

Here are pictures of the Christmas I spent, as a little girl, in Tehran, Iran, in December 1978 - granted, a country on the verge of an Islamic and anti-American revolution was an odd place to spend Christmas... Since, I celebrated Christmas in many other more or less unlikely places, where I was visiting relatives (Uruguay, Chicago, the French Alps, Florida, Singapore, Los Cabos), visiting friends (Perth, Hong-Kong, Cairo, Seoul, New Delhi) or living (Paris, Beijing, Baghdad, Nairobi, and this year, Los Angeles). No matter where my family was, my sister and I were always showered with presents and love.

I don't know where I'll be in a year, but my dearest wish is to spend next Christmas with my parents and my sister. In the meantime, my mum sent me some typical French Christmas treats, including those supremely delicious marrons glacés, or candied chestnuts.

33 comments:

corine said...

Merry Christmas. I'm sending you virtual marrons glacés.

High Desert Diva said...

How fortunate you are to have traveled to so many countries. I hope your wish for next year comes true.

I'm off to reconsider the chestnuts I have saved for tomorrow's stuffing... marrons glacés...hmmm....

Merry Christmas!

michiko said...

oooo marrons glacés!! love them :P

Merry Christmas!
Thank you for sharing beautiful photos and your unique Christmas memories, I wonder what it's like to have lived in/traveled to so many different countries, I've only been to the US, England and France...

Sending much love from japan,
xo
M

Kwana said...

Have a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for sharing you Christmas memories.

Mary-Laure said...

HIGH DESERT DIVA - Chestnut stuffing, yummy! I love the satisfying texture of chestnuts, their sweetness.

MICHICKO - do you find them in Japan? In French pastry shops maybe?
Living and traveling all over the world is quite simply wonderful. As a child, I learned so much about other cultures and about beauty, both in nature and art.
Also, I got to taste plenty of delicious local delicacies!

A World in a PAN said...

Merry Christmas, dear Mary-Laure.

MISS GLITZY said...

Joyeux Noël californien! Bises.

jean-louis said...

Bonnes fetes M-L, je me souviens parfaitement de ce Noel a Teheran avec les tanks dans les avenues..et la lampe a petrole pour nous eclairer faute d'electricite.
30 ans plus tard nous etions hier ensemble avec Skype et toi sur un laptop a ta place en bout de table...Inimaginable a Teheran il y a 30 ans! DAD

jean-louis said...

A propos de la lampe a petrole, elle est maintenant a Paris dans notre chambre ...des fois que!
Je ne me souviens plus du tout comment je l'ai ramenee...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Happy Christmas, may your tendency to circumnavigate bring you round to where you want to be next year ;0)

Anil P said...

The black and white pictures are charming indeed.

And what a diverse set of places you've been to at Christmas time.

Anonymous said...

MERRY CHRISTMAS! And I think it is great that you have so many homes in your heart...;) (I can relate to that!;)
xxnancy

sealaura said...

I love when you reminisce, you should write a book. I am immediately enchanted and want to read more and more. Qué lindas fotos, Feliz Navidad! Un abrazo muy fuerte desde LV.

Gabbi said...

Thank you for sharing your childhood photos, you were such a cute baby :) and though late in the day, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

(Must try a marrons glacés now...)

Mary-Laure said...

JL - il faudra que tu me montres la lampe a petrole la prochaine fois que je suis a Paris.

NANCY - I'd love to hear more about your many homes...

SEALAURA - it's funny, you're not the first person on this blog who comments that I should write a book about my nomadic childhood. Maybe one day.

GABBI - let me know if you know of a place in LA where I can find marrons glacés...

miss cavendish said...

Lovely memories! And BTW, I've just purchased Zola's "Ladies' Paradise" to read on the train between NYC and Boston. I can't wait!

mansuetude said...

u R adorable.

(naughty or nice) :)

Happy Holidays (world wide)!

Mary-Laure said...

MISS CAVENDISH - I hope you like that wonderful novel by Zola. I can't wait to hear what you think!
Ah, that train from NYC to Boston... Brings back memories of when I was living in Cambridge...

MANSUETUDE - Naughty or nice, I was very much spoiled this Christmas.
I thought of you yesterday while watching the Celtics v. Lakers game with Benjy!

muralimanohar said...

What a very cool way to grow up.

Merry Christmas! :D

Esti said...

Espero que estés pasando unas felices, soleadas, calurosas y felices navidades!

heidi said...

What lovely pics of you with your Mom!!! Have a wonderful holiday...-xoh

Merruli said...

I'm a bit late to wish you Merry Christmas this time around, but I hope your wish for next Christmas with your family comes true!

andrea tachezy said...

Merry Christmas Mary-Laure!

My Castle in Spain said...

I love to hear of your colorful internal Christmases !

et..les marrons glacés..mon Dieu...

Enjoy the holiday!
:-)

The Seeker said...

What a lovely post!!!!

Thank you so much for being at my blog and left such nice comment.

I'm loving your blog and I also love hats and I'm vegetarian.... :)

I know I'll be back, so if you feel like it please keep in touch.

I wish you're having a happy holidays season.

All the best

xoxo

Candace said...

I really do think that at least one of your Christmases needs to be spent at the North Pole!

You will have to leave Benjy with me, however, so that he won't freeze while you're up there keeping a watchful eye on Santa's elves.

::wink::

Now then, about those candied chestnuts... exactly how tasty are they? And, more importantly, are they all gone?

Mary-Laure said...

MURALIMANOHAR - well from what I understand, you and your family had your share of travels too, no?

MY CASTLE - are you also a fan of marrons glaces? Petite gourmande...

THE SEEKER - I too hope we stay in touch.

CANDACE - actually I would love to see all that whiteness and the beautiful polar bears.
As for the marrons glaces, my mum sent me only 4 (!!!!) so they didn't last very long at all!

Candace said...

I confess...

In order to get the full international flavor of your blog, I frequently find myself using an online utility to translate the many languages that I find here.

Mind you, the online translations are definitely crude, somewhat unreliable and certainly not a substitute for your talents!

Be that as it may, what a haunting image your dad paints of a "Noel," now three decades past, which was spent with tanks in the streets, no electricity and only the light of an oil lamp, which --- if I understand correctly --- is still in your dad's possession.

Mary-Laure said...

CANDACE - absolutely! Iran was on the verge of the early 1979 revolution, so there were tanks on the streets. A curfew was enforced every evening, too.
The electricity went off all the time, so we used an oil lamp in the apartment, and somehow or another my dad brought it back to Paris with us, which is strange because we were evacuated in a snap, and, like many Iranis, we left most of our possessions behind; why and how my dad brought back the oil lamp remains a mystery, as he himself can't remember taking it with us.

Joyce said...

Oh I missed this post! I hope your Christmas was a nice one. It is nice to get care packages from home. I will keep my fingers cross your wish comes true for next Christmas! The pictuers are cute!
WOW- I can't believe all the places you have been!! Does your job send you to all of these neat places? xoxo

michiko said...

Yes I find them in posh French sweet shops!

Mary-Laure said...

JOYCE - my dad's job (business) took us to many places, where we usually spent several years in a country before moving on to the next.
Now I am a freelancer so I can live anywhere I want as long as I have an Internet connection!

Candace said...

Something about that last comment makes me miss you and Benjy already.