Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: Christmas Time Again! Wooo Hooo!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Time Again! Wooo Hooo!

As you know, I am not one that has to look far to find something to complain about, it's part of my nature to want my world to be perfect and I tend to get my nose out of joint when things don't go my way. This Christmas is one of those times.    

As might be expected, Christian holidays in an Islamic country are low-key at best. The twinkly lights, Christmas carols and other trappings of the holidays are usually found in the malls, tourist hotels and other public venues. Places I usually avoid unless absolutely necessary. The balmy weather is very un-Christmaslike, too with highs in the 80F range.

I have not been a huge Christmas fan since I was about 10 years old, but there is still something about the holidays that stir the old excitement. I always dreaded the shopping aspect of it and dealing with the crazed consumers at the stores, but I always took pride in decorating my house with the best tree I could find and competing with the neighbors for the most garish front yard display of lights. I risked life and limb crawling around on the roof of my house installing lights only to repeat the same to remove them a couple of weeks later. Some of the best times I shared with my ex-wife were spent drinking hot rum toddies in front of a roaring fireplace in our seasonally decorated living room.

I also hosted the "unofficial" office Christmas party in my home. Most all my coworkers looked forward to it and showed up. The booze flowed freely and there were more than enough stories created there to provide water cooler gossip for weeks afterward. I miss those times.

Fast forward to now. Most of my coworkers are out of the country visiting their own family and friends, there are no parties here that I know of . My right arm is swollen and painful with tendonitis and I am feverish and achey. This is more than enough to put me in a bad mood but because it is holiday time, it seems worse for my mental state.

I wish all my family, friends and readers happy holidays. For those fortunate enough to be with loved ones at this time, make the most of your time together, life is short!

I will be OK, its just a tough time to be so far from home and family. I promise I won't end up like this jolly old elf!


Misalyn said...

You made me laugh out loud with the last photo.

I am sorry to hear about your tendonitis.Please take good care of yourself. Take your medications as it lessens the pain and will keep you normothermic. Just be sure that your stomach is not empty when you take them.

We are still lucky to see those Christmas decorations inside the malls, hotels and other places considering that UAE is Muslim country. Compared to other MUslim countries I guess UAE is very liberal and tolerant to Christian holidays.

Happy Holidays Ace. Get well soon.

Anonymous said...

The balmy weather is very un-Christmaslike, too with highs in the 80F range.

You've never been in Arizona around Christmas huh? 65ish, sunny, and eh.

I also found myself complaining today as I walked thru the Dubai mall. But for other reasons. WHY are there Christmas decorations in a supposedly Islamic country.

It's times like these that I am all for places with lots of foreigners being blown up by "terrorists."

All that aside, I feel for you. I remember being 10K miles away from my family during Eid in a country that wasnt too keen on even knowing what that was.

Sorry I guess. Then again, do you really like your family? I'm sure if you tried you could pick and Uncle Joe who you would like featured in Saw 6, right?

So yes, you are away from your loved ones, BUT you are also away from the insane loved ones.

Thats my best attempt at "cheering" you up.

Ace said...

Yeah, I got a kick out of that photo too. An excess of Christmas cheer I guess.

My right arm is very swollen and the skin is red and hot to the touch. Whatever is going on in there is making the rest of my body feel bad with aches and a feverish feeling. I am taking aspirin for the pain and swelling.

I agree we are fortunate that the UAE and its citizens are tolerant of our Christian celebrations. I have no complaint about that. I enjoy living here and hope my own home country is as accepting of Islamic holy days.

Thanks Misalyn, a heartfelt wish for your best holidays ever from me!

Ace said...

ABIT, I can always count on you for some great commentary!

The weather here is typical of Miami Beach. I know Phoenix is similar. Where I last lived was SW Utah and it did get cold enough to light a fire in the fireplace in December.

As far as the Christmas decorations in the mall, the cynic in me says that is just a ruse to get us expats to recycle our salaries back into the economy.

I do find the Islamic Eids to be more genuine than what Christmas has become as of late in the West with all the commercialism.

That being said, I have yet to see an "Eid Mubarek" signs in any US mall. I didn't know what an Eid was until I moved here. If the US was 80% foreigners as is the UAE, maybe things would be different.

It is interesting to reverse the situation and imagine the US, a Christian country, having 80% of its residents being of another faith and culture. I probably would not be too comfortable with that scenario.

As the old saying goes, you can choose your friends, but not your relatives. Your point is well taken!

So, can I buy cars at the Golden Bell auction in Dubai and make some extra money selling them in the classifieds?

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree, The UAE of late has turned EVERY holiday of EVERY culture and faith into a shopping gimmik.

And it's sad.

As for the Eid signs at the USPS, They were Happy Eid stamps. Yes, the US has about 10-15 million Muslim citizens, so they made a stamp.

For all my negativity towards the US, they are seriously the most... kind I guess, people, on average, I've ever met (Aside from the Japanese)

I guess it's the old story of a person hating part of who he is.

Anyways, you have shown me the light! lets poison Uncle Joe (and my uncle Hussain) and bomb a mall and a mosque!

You with me?

And no, buying a car to sell it later is a bad idea... UNLESS you have a buyer already set up and committed. I hear people doing that alot.

Anonymous said...

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