A month later I am finally getting around to sharing our Christmas with everyone. I apologize for my delay.
In order to make sure that it still felt like Christmas 7,444 miles from family, we made sure that we decorated and attended as many festive activities as possible. While it did not compare to celebrating with family we did enjoy our first Christmas away from the states.
We brought the tallest, fake Christmas tree that we could find, replaced our green plants with fake poinsettias, and hung personalized stockings from our wall shelves. We also hung Aaron and Mila’s Christmas artwork from school on their bedroom doors. We tried.
Our church hosted a Christmas dinner for church volunteers and their families a few weeks before Christmas. The theme of the party was “What Would You Bring the King?” We were asked to bring a gift that was for God but could be appreciated by our brothers and sisters here. As this was clearly something that we, culturally, have never experienced I pondered for weeks as to what to take. Was this like secret santa with a holy twist? So after going back and forth I decided on 4 candles and potpourri. Don’t laugh at my reasoning as I am shocked that I even had this in me to embrace: the candles stood for a burnt offering and there were four because there are four of us. The potpourri was, you guessed it, a sweet smelling savour. I thought that it worked, Terrence thought that it was corny. So at the dinner, after eating and singing Christmas carols together each person that brought a gift was able to pick a gift from under the tree. Once your gift was pulled you had to explain the meaning behind it. My (I originally thought “our”) gift was pulled first. When asked whose gift is this Terrence shouted “Aisha’s!” So he wanted no parts of my idea. When I explained it, everyone seemed to have liked the idea. I mean, we got Frankincense and someone else got a jump drive p titled “Jesus’s Favorite Playlist.” I think that my gift fared pretty well.
Terrence and Mila getting our gift.
My friend Whitney and Aaron
Christmas Eve in the Desert
Our church, along with other Christian churches in Al Ain, hosted their annual Christmas Eve potluck in the desert. We were looking forward to attending this as we knew that this would be one of the few times that we actually experienced cold weather as it is always much colder in the desert and it would be a new experience for Mila and Aaron. We didn’t stay long as it was a bit too cold for our children but we ate, laughed, and chatted a little before parting.
We had a very relaxed Christmas. We woke up, I cooked pancakes, we ate breakfast, then we opened our presents. After which we went to a friend’s house for Christmas dinner. Mila and Aaron had a wonderful Christmas thanks to grandparents and cousins. Thank you guys for helping to make our Christmas special.
*Piper and David, we waited to give Mila her Elmo doll that you sent for Chirstmas. She and Aaron plays with him.