In past years, we've watched as some family and friends have opted to spend Christmas in a tropical location. But greater than our desire to spend the holidays amid the snow and bad driving conditions was our desire to be 'at home', no matter what the weather. If "Home is Where You Hang Your Hat", then Doha is definitely our home for hat-hanging purposes, but it doesn't hold any of our memories of Christmases past. For the Christmas of 2010 we were hit with the double whammy of being away from home AND not having to shovel our walk. We were so fortunate to have Dan's parents, Richard and Roly, come to Doha. Their presence was like a gift of home, and having them here made us all feel much less homesick.
The morning of December 24th, we took a leisurely stroll along the Corniche, which allowed us some unique photo ops for our guests. As Nicholas had minor surgery on December 20th (nothing serious, just the aftermath of a Boy vs. Waterslide incident this past summer where his toe was collateral damage), he joined us on crutches. The hospital had only elbow crutches in his size, so it was like having our very own Tiny Tim!
Sometimes when you're presented with the inability to carry on with certain traditions, you have to make new ones. And so it was, since I wasn't allowed to make my traditional Christmas Eve ham in this country, that I made the only other suitable thing: reservations. We enjoyed a really nice Christmas Eve buffet at the Ritz-Carlton, and the kids even got their picture taken inside the full-size gingerbread house.
The boys helped us get an early start to our Christmas Day, and after presents and a big breakfast, we went to the French language mass. Ben and Jacob even went swimming that afternoon, even though the water was "freezing" (21C, if you can believe the bulletin board at the pool - I think we're turning into wimps). This was all capped off by a great turkey dinner (I was even able to get a Butterball!). I'm puzzled by Roly's lack of her usual sense of adventure, as she decided not to risk smuggling a tourtiere into the country, so we had to do without.
I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas with your families, and that the New Year is filled with good cheer!