We Are SI
Noel with the Nasrah's
Sam Bernstein '14
“Flamboyant. The best house I’ve ever seen.” That’s how Tristan Wentworth ’14 describes the house of Jessica Nasrah ’14 during the Yuletide season. If you haven’t driven by her home on Gellert Drive (across from Lake Merced,) I highly recommend it, but there’s more to the Nasrah’s than just their decorations— they happen to be one of SI’s largest and most festive families. I sat down with Jessica and her cousins Michael Dudam ’14, Tarik Siniora ’15, Daniella Siniora ’17, and Nadia Nasrah ’16 to talk about what the holidays mean to them.
Just how big is this family? “There are 21 kids!” exclaims Daniella. Tarik adds, “We try to coordinate a family picture every year, but it never works.” Hey, I can’t blame them. Most families of four, let alone forty or more, struggle to gather for a picture! If this big of a family would overwhelm you, you’re not alone. “His family sat at one small table,” explains Daniella of her sister’s husband, “but we have people everywhere. Inside, outside, there’s no room. It was a little much for him.” Their family also adds a few unique twists to Christmas season due to their Arab lineage. In Jessica’s words, “We eat a lot of lamb [during the holidays]. Like extra lamb, more than usual.” Sounds like my type of crowd!
Now, picture that family in a house dressed to the nines, and we have an image straight out of a cheesy Hallmark Christmas special. “It takes about a full day to put up [the decorations],” concludes Jessica. “The men in the family pull everything out, and my mom coordinates the decorating.” To start, “There’s a life size manger in the front yard,” tells Tarik. But don’t worry— they all assured me baby Jesus doesn’t arrive until Christmas, where he’s met by “an older cousin who dresses as Santa and passes out the presents” says Nadia. That’s right, they don’t go to the mall for Santa; Santa comes to them.
I won’t ruin all the decorations before you check it out for yourselves, but I did get Jessica, between fits of laughter, to reveal her favorite decoration-related story. “Someone stole a penguin from [their] front yard and [her] mother filed a police report. Don’t ask me how, but somehow it magically appeared a few days later.” So don’t get any ideas, folks. If you want a tuxedo-clad penguin for your house, you’re going to have to look elsewhere. For the Nasrah’s holiday merriment is no laughing matter.
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