Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It is all in the heart.

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.


  1. i'm sortof in the same mindset, this year. i had a recent death in the family that just puts a huge damper on the whole meaning of the holiday. to be quite honest, i'd rather just sleep away the next week.

    i'm also finding it harder and harder to get into the consumerism of the holiday. i'll get the Boy stuff he needs or really, really wants but would never buy himself...for nearly everyone else, i'm making consumables (mostly baked goods) as their gifts. money's tight, and i just can't afford to buy stuff for people like i normally would. i hate decorating, so that's a chore...i hate going out, because people at the malls aren't as nice as they used to be. i remember, as a kid, shopping with my dad and seeing people SMILING as they shopped. that's gone. i used to like sitting in the food court with Dad as we watched people go by...that's gone, since everyone just acts like a self-absorbed moron. the electronic din is deafening, and overall i'd just love it to be over.

    call me Scrooge; i'm just not into it anymore.

  2. Have a Merry Christmas, Princess. Stay safe. and remember this side of the world.

  3. I can't understand what it's like to live in the Middle East any time, especially at Christmas.

    The older I get the less decorating and stuff I do. I almost didn't put up a tree this year. But I did, and I'm glad I did. I do very little decorating other than the tree and I didn't do any outside except for the wreath on the front door and a big angel banner on front of the house, two small banners in other places, one of a snowman and one of a nativity scene.

    We have our 12 year old grandson here for three days this week. We will take him back to Nashville this afternoon. Our daughter, is pretty much estranged from us. She hasn't been to our house in years. She made very bad choices in her life and continues to do so, but she blames us for not wanting to be around us, "those looks of disappointment on our faces". Well, she has given us year after year of disappointments. Trust me, but I won't go into all of it here.

    Anyway, as you say, Christmas is in the heart, dwelling on the reason for the season, which is Christ our Lord. And I am so thankful that God cares enough about we pitiful humans to live a perfect human life and then to give that life in death for me.

    It truly is a wonderful thing.

    Merry Christmas and the cupcakes sounds like a lovely surprise for your workers.

    Right Truth

  4. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
    Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

    Merry Christmas Sabra, to you and your DH.
    Don't let the trapings of the world get you down. I am stuffing handfulls of merriment, joy & cheer into the USB port so that it squirts out over there! Hope it works.

  5. Merry Christmas from Tabuk to you,your DH and the Kids. It will be over soon.


Site Meter