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The upside and the downside of living in Beirut during the holidays

BEIRUT | - December 21, 2014, 08h12

The holiday season calls for both good and bad times in Beirut. Aside from the usual hustle and bustle of the city life, traffic, stress and the excess headaches are increased. However, with all the crazy comes the jolly festive spirit. Here’s what it’s like living in Beirut during the winter holidays.

Decorations: Everywhere

From malls and schools, to houses and cars (santa hats on headrests...), everywhere from Hamra to Kaslik has Christmas decorations sprinkled in.

Every store and mall takes advantage of the holiday season by playing nonstop Christmas jingles. Passersby get to enjoy Christmas trees and nativity scenes on the streets. By the way did you know that the Christmas tree in Byblos even made it on the Wall Street Journal’s list of best Christmas trees?

Traffic: Worse than usual

The never ending traffic in the city really never seems to end this time of year. Every street is crowded with cars held up due to traffic, rain, or holiday events blocking the road.

Due to the increased traffic, people tend to become more aggressive on the road, ironically. Isn’t it supposed to be a merry time??

Helping others

There’s a lot of giving back in Beirut during the holidays.

Be it charity events, or donations to refugees, Christmas is never selfish. You get like 10 SMSs or WhatsApp messages everyday to make sure you don't forget about those in need, like the orphans and refugees. Which is a good thing in itself. Plus it's better than the supermarkets' messages reminding you the price of turkey, salmon and champaign.

Ridiculous billboards

Christmas and New Year’s Eve always call for celebrations. That’s why you’ve probably noticed billboards showing artists that will be performing at each hotel during the holidays. They’re usually shown with three Lebanese singers looking at you straight in the eyes. They’ve become a bit repetitive over the years. Let’s say they’re part of the landscape.

They all look a bit like this:

So... You may have noticed a few downsides to living in Beirut during the holidays but the cheerful memories make up for them!

#Christmas, #Christmas_time, #Christmas_in_Beirut
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