Friday, December 26, 2008

Post-Holiday Wrap Up

Well, here it is - the end of Boxing Day. Which is an extra holiday tacked on to Christmas that you get to experience if you aren't living in America. Although no one can really explain to me what Boxing Day is, it definitely signals the end of the Christmas celebrations.

Hubby braved the mall on Christmas eve to replace our damaged VCR/DVD combo so that I could watch, "It's a Wonderful Life." That's Christmas to me. We also watched, "A Christmas Story." We tried to like it. Really we did. It had come highly recommended by a friend so when I saw a copy at a garage sale during our trip home I grabbed it. Sadly, none of us really enjoyed it. There were some funny moments, but I guess it's just not our kind of movie.

The next morning, the kids burst through our door at 6 am sharp, hollering "Merry Christmas!!! It's time to get up!!!" After we stumbled downstairs, bleary-eyed and in our jammies, they opened their presents. I think most everything was a hit but the big surprises were the aquarium for Daniel and a bird for Emily. Well, those things plus the air hockey table we got for the loft. That went over REALLY well too!! I really want to make the loft a cool, fun place for the kids to hang out with their friends, you know?

After present time was over and the turkey had made its way into the oven, we straightened up all the un-wrapping frenzy mess and just chilled out together. We had invited a young man from India, whom Hubby had led to the Lord, over for dinner. We asked him to come around 1:30 and said we would eat by 2. Well, let's just say that time is more elastic in some cultures than others. He didn't arrive until after 2:30, so dinner wasn't quite the sparkling success it could have been, but we enjoyed his company and had a nice time together.

He was something of an aquarium expert himself (or so he told us), so he offered to go with Hubby and Daniel to get the necessary supplies and fish for the tank. (One benefit of being in a Islamic country is everything is open on Christmas just like normal.) Well, it turns out everything he told us is wrong. LOL!! They went today to a different fish shop where the guy really knows his stuff. The tanks there are works of art, not just a few fish swimming around in an empty tank. Basically, our very-helpful-guest recommended the wrong filter, the wrong rocks for the bottom, the wrong fish - the wrong everything!! But hopefully this guy will help us make it really nice for Daniel.

After our guest left, we bundled up and headed down to the corniche to take a dhow ride. Dhows are the traditional fishing boats here in Qatar. Many of them are still used for fishing today, but there are always several docked along the corniche offering rides around the bay. I've been wanting to go since we moved here, and the weather was just perfect last night. We climbed up to the top deck and had it all to ourselves and laughed and giggled and danced and acted silly in between looking at the beautiful Doha skyline reflected in the water.

Then today was spent in church and just resting during the afternoon. Tonight we went to a barbecue at the home of a family from church. It was really fun and I got to meet some new people and get to know others better. Even Hubby enjoyed himself as all the men huddled together in the "majlis" which is a feature of traditional Arab homes. It's a room outside the main house for the men to meet and socialize so that they don't interact with the women. All of us women had a great time ribbing the guys about being in their "man cave" and that we were "forbidden" from entering. They served 3 whole roasted lambs and a huge (I mean bigger than your standard coffee table) platter of couscous with it. Many of the men opted to eat the traditional Arab way of just using their hand to eat straight from the platter. Ick!

We ended up having a really nice holiday. No tears from anyone (though Emily was a little teary-eyed after talking with Grandma) and happiness all around.

Just the way it should be.


Catherine said...

Sounds like you had a lot of fun!!

Debbie said...

It's so interesting to hear about ways to celebrate Christmas in other countries. That's too cool about your hubby leading this man to the Lord! I hope the guy doesn't read your blog though since his instructions were all wrong. LOL! Here's wishing you and your family a great 2009!

Tracye said...

Merry Christmas!

Kind of nasty about everyone eating with their hands straight out of the serving platter! That would gross me out!

Misty said...

merry christmas, belated!!! sounds like all had a lovely time. i'm catching up on blog reading, but you sound so happy lately, and i'm glad you're being provided for, if you know what i mean!

Anya said...

Boxing Day is a tradition from England, where families boxed their leftover foods from Christmas day and delivered boxes to the poor. It was done the day after Christmas. We celebrate Boxing Day here in Australia by having BBQs with friends, watching the Boxing Day cricket match or the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, or just relaxing after the big festivities of Christmas Day. Just thought you might like the background!

Nancy M. said...

I'm glad y'all had a great time! The boat ride sounds nice. Did you take pictures?


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