Merry Christmas form the Desert!

It was a different Christmas again for us in Qatar. However it was a bit easier for us this year then it was last year. We spent the week before Christmas in Cyprus where on every round about there were Christmas decorations. Big Santa’s and Christmas trees were present all over the city. It was so normal compared to Doha where they were making hotels take down decorations! Every shop or restaurant we went in to had Christmas Carols playing and you could feel the spirit of Christmas everywhere you went.

The Muppets enjoyed all the adventures in Cyprus, from the Wild Bird Park to all the Ruins, Parks and Beaches we found. We returned home to Doha with 2 more sleeps until Santa came. We had no internet when we returned home and not being able to talk to our family leading up to Christmas had us all a little down. Thankfully we are surrounded with amazing friends out here that really made Christmas feel special.

Christmas Eve we had a wonderful time with friends talking about our family traditions and how we celebrated Christmas as children. We watched the kids play themselves out and settle on the couch to watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol a movie that I watched as a kid so many times that I know it by heart.

We brought tired but excited boys home, got them in to their Christmas pyjamas and put them to bed. Christmas morning was exciting but over to quickly, we couldn’t talk to family on Skype so it seemed quiet, well as quiet as my house can be with the three muppets. We had neighbours and friends stop by with presents and Christmas cheer which brightened the morning and soon it was time to go to the hotel for lunch. It felt a bit more like Christmas now, we had done the same thing last year so it kind of felt like a tradition.

It was like any other day for a lot of people in Doha you could hear the mosque ringing out the call to prayer as we were wishing neighbours Merry Christmas and headed out the door. But once we entered the hotel it was like coming home, smiling faces of friends and strangers wishing each other Happy Christmas. Excited children running around, each of them comparing what they got from Santa Claus or Father Christmas. It was nice to be surrounded by so many families, we ate lots of wonderful food and sweets, drank lots of champagne and just enjoyed the day.

Our Christmas wasn’t like any other Christmas, it was filled with some old traditions and lots of new ones. I think that every Christmas will be like that for us out here, it makes you realize that you don’t really need the snow, the mall decorations or the carols to make it Christmas. Sometimes all it takes is people coming together, sharing stories, kind words and a couple glasses of champagne.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Holiday Season!

Crazy for Angry Birds

(From left to right) Eraw, Wing, TawnyaHoo, Yahooya, Hooee and Eh

When we travel we rely on a lot of technology to keep our kids entertained so they don’t drive other people on the plane in to absolute madness. Portable DVD players, ipods, ipads, Leapsters these all help keep children busy and Mummy and Daddy from drinking to many bottles of mini wine.

This summer my sister introduced Angry Birds to my kids. Her and I laughed about her Angry Bird Addiction and I started playing it a little bit, but when the boys got a hold of that game it became a full blown obsession!

To say they love Angry Birds is an understatement! They play the game on the iPad, they pretend to be Angry Birds, they have Angry Bird toys that they throw at each other! They have made up names for the birds based on the sound they make and what is worse is that I use the names too!

They wake up in the morning and it is the first thing they ask for and I am pretty sure that if the battery life of my iPad would last long enough they would play it all day! My children need an Angry Bird Intervention!!  Although that probably won’t happen anytime soon, because of their obsession I have been sucked in too!

I find myself at the playground, or waiting to pick them up from school trying to pass levels for them. The sad thing is that they are way better then I am at that game. I guess we will just have to battle the addiction together.

Once Upon a Christmas

I pulled out Dolly and Kenny this weekend and when I say that I know that only my mother, father and sister will know what I am talking about.

At Christmas time every year my mom would put on Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s Once Upon a Christmas and we would decorate the house and the Christmas Tree, or bake cookies. It is the one thing that can make me feel Christmasy in this beige desert.

So this past weekend I pulled out Kenny and Dolly and a few other Christmas songs for the kids and we baked Christmas cookies, decorated the house and set up the tree. All was right with the world and my little elves were happily dancing to the music, then the middle one says “Mummy turn off Dolly and lets listen to some Jingle Bells Batman smells!” “Yea” cheered the oldest “Let’s get this party started!”

My sweet Christmasy morning was now filled with three crazy boys screaming Jingle Bells Batman Smells at the top of their lungs, adding in the word fart or poop where ever they could.

I think that the most girly girls are given sons, to show them how to play in the mud, not be so scared of spiders, and to teach them how to sing the most horrible Christmas Carols ever.