Sunday, February 8, 2015

Christmas: Expat Style

Everyone worries about us "poor expats" being so far from family during "the holidays'. Honestly, there is nothing sad about it. Yes, we dearly miss our families, and No, the holidays don't quite seem the same without the traditions you spend your life being raised in, but we are constantly blessed here.
First and foremost, we live in a culture of Islam, so Christmas is not really high on their list of things to celebrate. Despite this, there are more than enough expats around to make sure that the "Holiday Season" is somewhat of a thing around here. After working a full day, the holiday festivities kicked off at our place with a Secret Santa gift exchange. A raging success all around, for sure. I think I solidified myself as the group "mom" with my PERFECT gifts of an apron (to cook more Rosewood Family dinners with) and a fancy cocktail mixer (which Adam has been putting to frequent and tasty-result use)! Adam's Santa cemented a place in my man's heart with a fine bottle of scotch. He is certainly easy to please. Adam even made it more "real" by streaming a digital fire on the TV.  The gathering progressed down to another Rosewood apartment to meet up with more people, before heading out to a grand dinner on the beach at Emirates Palace.
Does it feel weird being able to go sleeveless on Christmas? Yes. Would I change it for anything in the world....Mmmmm, maybe, but leaning towards No. We ALL know that I am a supreme wuss when it comes to anything less than 80 degrees, and would gladly live the rest of my life without experiencing another snowflake in my life. Yep, snow is pretty to look at. Other than that, I am just fine to be without. You can keep your four seasons and sweaters paired with knee high boots. I will just wait for you over here with my flipflops, maxi dress, and sunglasses.
My studly reindeer

Beach night Christmas dinner

I would also like to take a moment to recognize our BELOVED Dave, who won for "best dressed" as the man came out in FULL TUXEDO for the occasion. Oh yes, silken stripe down the side of the pants and all! It was enough that Johan felt the need to leave to change! Oh dear God how much I love our group!

Allison and Debbie

Chris, Dave, and a warm digital fire

Noting an exchange theme

Christmas Love

Elena and Johan, making it look damn good

Hey there

A bromance

Sara and Allison

Adam and Debbie, cheesy and awesome

The Greenhalgh's and their ridiculous cuteness

The Bergenas-McGoverns

Mayer Love
Family and friends on the US side, we love and miss you, but fear not, we felt your love from afar. We did not lack being surrounded by those we care about and who care about us in return. The true essence of the holiday season! Join us in celebration next year?