13 Dec 2011

Christmas Trip Down Memory Lane: the early '80s

The early '80s were the "Saudi Years"... celebrating the season half a world away from family, in a place where Christmas isn't even a holiday! They were also the years during which our family kept growing, giving me two younger sisters to tease and torment (and take care of) for the rest of our lives. ;o)

So we start with Christmas 1980 in Riyadh, when I discovered that Christmas trees came out of a box and had to be assembled!

You remember that "intruder alert" I mentioned in the previous Christmas post? Well here's the result of that big "bump", another bright little redhead (who to this day still sighs whenever she sees pictures of her "Dumbo" ears!):

Opening presents on Christmas Eve (the Spanish present-opening tradition won out in our family thanks to my mom, yay!):

the joy of unwrapping!
helping my baby sis' with hers ;o)
rocking horse, huge success!

A year later and we're still "building"  the Christmas tree, I guess they don't grow that well in the desert. ;o)

 But now Gabs is old enough to help my mom and me with the decorating.

Check out this cutie with Santa Claus... I'm rocking the same dress as the year before!!!

That shot had me really confused when I was organising the pix by dates on my computer because I shot the photos out of chronological order (just the order in which I dug the albums out) and so I was really confused between 1980 and 1981! Until I noticed that the dress is quite a bit shorter in the '81photos. :p

Christmas morning with the family's three redheads (my dad is having a blast on Facebook right now remembering his once abundant hair!):

1982, the year two became three:

three little angels... whatever happened to them? ;o)

And as the Spanish side of the family likes to say "Finally the Spanish genes decided to show up!" ;o)

Christmas Eve with nighties from my Grandma who joined us in Saudi Arabia that year (I think she was there for several months!)

pink?! I'm wearing pink?!

And the fun of digging into the stockings on Christmas morning:

check out Kat rocking that horse! (how did she not fall off???)

As for our final year in Saudi Arabia... we escaped to Spain that Christmas! My mom organised this big trip for Christmas (Granada and Sierra Nevada) and New Year's (Madrid) and a whole bunch of people went from amongst the international community in Riyadh. Looking through the photos I've discovered I've actually been to two cities I always thought I hadn't set foot in! Cordoba and Sevilla. For some reason I only remembered Granada (the Alhambra!) and Christmas in Sierra Nevada, I wonder why... It was also the first Christmas we spent with my Spanish grandparents as they came down to Granada to join us. :o)

hanging out on the slopes of Sierra Nevada

Could my discovering a love of skiing have something to do with it? :p

afraid of nothing!
three little snow bunnies!

Check it out! Santa came and found us on Christmas Eve in the hotel's disco! (my parents saw him the next day cruising the slopes! lol!)

waiting for Santa
Christmas Eve dinner con los Abuelitos :o)

And thus ended the "Saudi" Christmases. 6 months later we moved to Maryland. But that's a tale for another day. I'm having so much fun digging through these old albums, and so is my family! I've been putting them all (and more!) up on Facebook and we're all having a blast reliving it all and with the comments from friends and family. :o)


  1. Boy, that smile of yours has been there all along! Cute pictures, and I don't know about having three redheaded terrors growing up... your parents were definitely challenged! :-)

  2. DJan, I was about to say "nah, only 2 redheaded terros" (the third's a brunette), but then I figured my mom would probably agree with you 'cause sometimes my dad is the biggest kid of us all! :p

  3. What an amazing childhood you had!! I love the photo of opening stockings on Christmas morning - it looks like a Christmas card with the light coming in the window. I also really like the photo of the family on the ski slopes.

  4. What a cute picture! I guess Christmas comes no matter where you are - if you believe in it, of course. I love her little ears, btw. :-)

  5. Kim: My first ski trip, I love that photo too! :o)

    Nancy: I'll be sure to tell my sister you love her ears! ;o)


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