Yes it's that time of year again where so many of us around the world gather together with family and friends to celebrate Christmas
It's a little bit different here in Kalkan to the Christmas's that so many of you know. All over Europe and certainly in the UK, the build up to Christmas starts in earnest in October, with the shops and stores full of festive goodies and we are bombarded with advertisements across all the media for this years must have gift. But in Turkey Christmas isn't acknowledged as an official holiday - we celebrate our main holiday at Bayram. So life simply goes on....in so many ways it;s just another day. The diggers will still be digging, the kids will be at school and the shops will be open as normal
However, it's not quite that straightforward. With an ever increasing number of ex-pats choosing to move out to Kalkan to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle in the sun, there are little traces of Christmas all over the place. In the corner of some of the supermarkets you will find tinsel and baubles for the tree. For anyone thinking about making mince pies apparently you can buy a jar of mincemeat in Yali market for 19 TL! Most of the bars and restaurants that have remained open do have a token tree on display as well, because I guess the customers expect it
Some of the ex-pat community go the whole hog and put up a tree, decorate the house and send cards and give gifts, but others, like yours truly, don't bother, and actually it leads to a much more relaxed affair without any of the usual Christmas pressure!
OK, I hold my hands up - I did attend a carol concert at weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it, although it still seems strange singing carols in these surroundings
At the moment the weather is fine! It is bright and sunny and certainly warm enough to sit outside for much of the day and the forecast is set to stay like this for the next few days. So for me, after the phone calls to the family at home, I am planning on heading down to the harbour to raise a toast with friends and then we have been invited to share a traditional Christmas dinner at another friends house......yes turkey, parsnips, sprouts and all! And despite having something of a 'Bah Humbug' approach, I am actually looking forward to a day of good food and drink with lovely friends
So wherever you are in the world we would like to wish you our very best wishes for this festive season