It’s the Jingle and The Bells the whole month of December for me !!! And why not turn a lovely holiday into a happier mood for 30 days 🙂
As mentioned last week in a previous article, last time I celebrated Christmas with my family was 10 years ago.
Being an ex-pat, regardless of wherever you live in this whole wide world and being single for Christmas, can be a little sad, and I had a couple of years when I was not in a relationship during the festive season.
Nevertheless, I always found creative and fun ways to celebrate it with my friends from Berlin and now in Dubai, instead of feeling sorry for myself or crying that I am alone or might not have precisely the Christmas that I envisioned.
This Year, I Have Decided To Share A List Of Things I Enjoy The Most Of The Merry Season With Or Without A Partner:
1. DECORATING THE TREE
And not just the tree but putting up the lights and all the pretty decorations all around the house. I always start on December 1st, so I have a whole month to enjoy its sparkle. I decorate the house and embellish the Christmas tree. By the way, it all goes down … sometime in January 😛 Just to understand me, when I moved to Dubai, two of the boxes I shipped from Berlin were with my decorations … 😛
2. GIVE AND RECEIVE – MOUNTAINS OF PRESENTS
I’ll be honest. I love receiving but care a lot about giving back as well. So I usually start with a list, and typically I allocate a weekend of shopping for it. This year will be easier, though, and with my crazy schedule, I can’t complain. Most likely, I will get most of the presents online. And here you go: no mall crowdedness, no traffic jam, no long lines, stress-free, and less worry.
3. GIFT WRAPPING AND OPENING
This is another happy ritual. I like to allocate one evening to wrap all the gifts with the pretty themed wrapping paper and the super cute labels while having some mulled wine or hot chocolate and listening to Christmas carols.
4. COOK & BAKE
Cooking and baking are tricky as I always watch what I eat, but there would be no real Christmas without some traditional dishes. And another thing I adopted from my American friends is the famous delicious eggnog. Overall, besides eating, I love all the aroma blending in the house and the smell of home-cooked meals and baking pies. Utterly delicious.
5. CHRISTMAS MARKETS & BRUNCHES
I am sorry, but I have to say that as innovative as Dubai is with everything it offers to its inhabitants when it comes to the Christmas Markets, hmm, it still has to work on it. And I genuinely hope to see better in the next few years. I will relate more to this subject in the following article next week.
However, brunches are delicious. Pricey, but they are worth it. So going to a brunch with your friends is not a bad idea at all, it is actually a lot of fun. The food is impressive, and most places have a band or a DJ. And let’s not forget that most restaurants come with a view in Dubai, making them very Instagramable worthy.
Shopping is always an excuse, and Christmas is no exception. Not every year but maybe every second one I like to buy something new – red, green or white.
And let’s not forget the list of presents I mentioned above. So shop till you drop.
7. CHRISTMAS CAROLS
Starting December 1st, when I decorate the house, the Christmas tunes are on almost every day … I told ya :)) From Mariah Carey and George Michael to Frank Sinatra and Michael Bubble.
8. HOST A CHRISTMAS PARTY
December 24, 25, 26 are the Holy Mother Days of the Year for me. I never had a year since 2010 to be alone. Whether I organized a party or a gathering, I was invited somewhere, or I was with at least one or two friends around. I am the type of person that I always liked to bring people together. Probably because my parents are like this and in our house in Bucharest they used to host loads of gatherings or they were just out every weekend, celebrating something and enjoying life.
Therefore I love getting together with people, and I treasure having them around me for Christmas is one of my favorite times.
9. WATCH CHRISTMAS MOVIES
Another cliche, I suppose, but what can I do – I could always watch Home Alone and many other Christmas classics such as Last Christmas, Office Christmas Party, Bad Moms Christmas, and so much more.
It just puts me in a good mood.
10. ENJOY THE DAYS OFF
Who doesn’t? Christian countries all over the world will grant 24-26 December off. UAE is a Muslim country, and frankly, we all benefit from many days off per year due to Islamic holidays. The winter holidays are not specific here, but most companies will give you 24 and 25 off if you are a Christian ex-pat.
Overall, it’s not wrong to have some time off to properly relax and celebrate the festive season.
To summarize the above pointers, at the end it’s all about the Christmas spirit. We should be happy and jolly all year long, not just because it’s Christmas, but the festive season has a different flavor, and there is magic all around it.
As a final thought – Too much for Christmas is never too much as long as we just keep it for December and we don’t start in October 😛
Happy Holidays Everyone!
What is your favorite part of celebrating Christmas?