Hello. I am still beating deadlines and being good so I can take a day off tomorrow, Christmas day. It was Pristine’s birthday yesterday and we went to Wafi Mall. Yes people, this gigantic Christmas tree is in Dubai, UAE, a Muslim country in the Middle East.
I am also multi-tasking to put my typing skills (I type pretty fast) to be able to write this blog post in between.
One of the cool things about living in the UAE is the country’s tolerance to different faiths and beliefs. When it’s Christmas season, the malls compete with who’s got the biggest, brightest and grandest Christmas trees and the locals don’t mind. Wafi Mall is a sleepy mall (fairly quiet really with very less crowds you’d think why it still exists) in Oud Metha that wins the bet of the best Christmas tree in my opinion.
Wafi Mall also has Santa’s Grotto where the kids can visit Santa Claus and take their photos with him. We’ve been to a couple of ‘Santas’ around town in the previous years but my 10 year old daughter insists that the Santa at Wafi is the real one.
How so? Last year, when we visited the Wafi Santa for the first time, Santa immediately pointed out, “Pristine, you’ve been doing your homework in the school bus, eh?”
Pristine’s eyes widened like a curious child out of a storybook, “Mama, he definitely is the real one watching over the children! He knows my secret! He’s REAL!” Bah, who am I to argue.
So yesterday on her birthday, I was lucky enough to be able to get out of work earlier, I took her and the little boy to Wafi Mall to see Santa. There we queued for TWO hours. I mean I queued for two hours. But in the spirit of Christmas, I won’t say anything not nice – because I have not received my Christmas gift yet.
I hope next time, for the sanity of all the parents involved, Wafi Mall will get like, two Santas or ten so it will be quicker.
How’s your Christmas preparations going on? It’s already almost 6 pm on Christmas eve and I am about to tell you a horror story: I have yet to go grocery shopping. Can we freak out altogether now?
I am so dead, of course, I know. How can I leave this part to the last minute? Let’s see, there had been a huge work load, no car and just general shitty moments that kept me from being more organized. I feel like I suck at Christmas year after year. And it just gets worse.
Sorry, PMS. I am about to become very boring. And sober. Mostly really boring. And probably very short fused.
When I was growing up, we only had ice cream, cakes, spaghetti even(!), soda and other treats only on our birthdays and on Christmas and New Year. We look forward to it every year and if there’s one reason why I love being in a really big family (we are six siblings) it’s that, there are more chances to eat cake than when I am an only child. Fast forward the abundant times when I can eat ice creams, etc anytime…parties and celebrations like Christmas ceased to be exciting for me. (I told you I’m sober today!)
I know, I know it’s not about the food, it’s about the Christmas spirit, yada, yada, yada. Oh well, I get it. I am into the spirit: I am thankful to be home with my children who bears with a mom who can’t do cool things for Christmas: the mom who doesn’t bake colorful Christmas cookies, decorate gingerbread houses or put up a proper Christmas tree, for God’s sake! What sort of Christmas memory am I imparting with them as they grow up? Maybe practically nothing. Little gifts maybe. An advent calendar I struggled to make, or my clumsy, hurried cooking of Christmas dinner after work? And then those Christmases where we always lose one member of the family to work commitments.
Well, at least I queued up at Santa’s Grotto for them for TWO freaking hours. And even managed to psych the little boy not to cry. You don’t wanna know how many children his age screamed and yelled bloody murder at the sight of the white bearded man.
This doesn’t come as a surprise for me but I suck at holidays and merry making. Now excuse me as I have to go grocery shopping. I am not even sure if I can find a proper parking space at Spinneys at this time.
Merry Christmas to you and yours.