Call me Scrooge. Passing on Christmas, this year. For the most part. Just want it to be over. The whole Holiday thing. I want to wake up and for it to be January 2nd. The reason for the season has not completely escaped me, however. The reason for the season is in my heart and will always be. I am just not willing to give into the other aspects of Christmas, this year.
Holidays are especially difficult in the Sandbox. There is little merriment or joy or spreading of cheer off the compound. No bell ringers. No Christmas carols in the department stores. No decorated lamp posts. Certainly none in Saudi Arabia. Bahrain has gone out of its way, and from what I understand, so has Qatar.* I have had a hard time with Christmas - and Thanksgiving - since we arrived - quite a few years ago.
DH and I decided that we were NOT going to do anything for Christmas this year. I just cannot see the point of DH to heading off to the malls struggling to select a gift [whoo boy - this is a struggle for him - big struggle - although he usually does quite well] for me, and I do not see the point of me getting a gift for DH which I have to charge on my credit card which DH then has to pay. "Merry Christmas, Honey. How do you like your new watch I got for you which you get to pay for?" See? No point. None. I'd rather we spend the money elsewhere. A vacation in Australia and New Zealand in 2010. Or something.
I have spent the last couple of days making cupcakes for gifts. I spent several hours last night frosting and decorating them. They are festive looking. Green [pistachio!], Christmas color... The cupcakes are for DH's drivers - he gets picked up at the door every day that he works and taken straight to the hanger and then returns home the same way. There are cupcakes for the two guys at the Commissary who unload my cart into my truck. Cupcakes for the guy who grinds and bags my coffee every other week. And for the two guys at the cleaners. Also for the trash collectors, and our household help. Oh, and our fabulous Babysitter. Some 150 cupcakes - more or less - in all, so far. Something different. Every year I do cookies. This year I decided on cupcakes. I have even gone so far as to put a little slip of paper in the cards which list the ingredients - nuts - walnuts and pistachios. Dairy products. Eggs, milk. Like my little ingredient list is going to make any difference. I did it in English, not Arabic or Urdu or Bangla.
There was a post on Vilmar's blog not too long ago about tipping. Should you tip people at Christmas time? You know what? Up until this year, I didn't look at it as tipping. It is, though. In a way. I choose to call it a gift. The cash that I put into envelopes and give my workers. Is it not enough that I pay them? This year, cash and cupcakes. Merry Christmas.
*Watch the video and mutter to yourself that the man about to give himself a coronary at the mere thought of a 4 or 5 meter high tree in a shop says that his "kind" are prevented from building minarets in A SINGLE PARTICULAR country... blah, blah, blah. Good grief. Get over yourself. How many Steeples are in Qatar, I wonder? Or elsewhere in the Arabian Peninsula. Not many. And not a SINGLE ONE in the Sandbox. Reciprocity? Umm, yeah. Not so much. I have absolutely not a teeny tiny iota of empathy for this. None. Whatsoever.