“Santa? You’re here?” At least that’s what my inner child said out loud as I strolled through the mall this past week. There he was, seating among his helpers in their make shift North Pole, made of white felt, cotton, glitter and cray paper. The theater theme stage consisted of a huge beautifully decorated Christmas tree, perfectly wrapped presents and the noticeably large Santa chair. Just like a child standing in line with my mother at Sears, I watched as the children ran up to take a picture on his lap and receive their gift from the elves. The parents seemed so excited right along with their children, it’s great to see small kids get excited about telling Santa their wishes for the year. While still in the festival mood, I decided to stroll through the seasonal light show exhibit where I admire the Arab’s world attempt to add a snow effects to their displays.
I enjoyed a very relaxing and peaceful cup of evening outside on the cafe’s patio, drinking my espresso and watching many shoppers take photos along the pathway. It was very necessary for me to stop and appreciate this moment, as I am aware I very fortunate to experience Christmas on the other side of the world.
Bright snow-white plants laced the path going through the garden.
I never seen lite birds in trees, thought this gave the Light Garden a cool look.
Up close the birds gave a special glare.
Horses are very special and profitable animals to the elite in the Arab world.
And lastly, the hardest working animal in the desert, the Camel.
(Here’s one fun fact, did you know that there are over 160 words for “camel” in the Arabic language.)
I was amaze at how well this American celebratory tradition has been well received in the Arab world and how the holiday color scheme seem to pop up all across the city. Christmas time in here Dubai and the locals did not disappoint with their way of showing appreciations for the many expats, who still love and cherish the special time of the
year. Back home, right about this time, my city would be well decorated in Chrismassy holiday decor. If you not too careful, or get blown away by the Hawk(strong winter wind), you just may confuse Michigan Ave. for a scene right out of the Christmas Ca
rol movie. I felt at home as I drove down Sheik Zayed road, everything seemed to be in its right place minus the snow. The buildings are all decorated in green and red lights , homes are lite up with different decorations as if their competing for a grand prizes and schools all across the city were having special holiday assemblies and concerts. A very young city with a huge spirit,
Earlier in the day, I enjoyed a great time with my students, as I became part of the Christmas scene dressing up as a “Sweet Candy Cane Diva”. It was great listening to students sing and act out different traditional Christmas carols in their beautiful crafted costumes. My administrators also marveled in the fun, with dressing up to play the parts of our staff sing along, greeting students and passing out gifts to the parents. Even our hard-working school assistants looked great in their costumes and were having fun in their Chrismissy get ups.
It’s always a treat to see the bosses joining in and having fun!
Bright faces are one of the many reasons why teachers show up to work everyday to give their all.
The entire primary school celebrated in the spirit of Christmas, over 600 students dressed in costumes, singing songs and dancing their way into the holiday.
My assistants and I having a little fun!
The winning team, the Chimneys and Chimney Swipes.
To end my night, I decided to stay for the Seasonal Light show that displayed different Christmas scenes while the music told a tale. I enjoyed the special effects and even tried my hand a singing some the carols, under my breath, but I felt like I was right at home as I watched the skies light up with beautiful colors, rhythm and sound.
It was interesting as I polled and talked with my colleagues about their Christmas traditions, I learned that many nationalities celebrate it in their own special way. Unlike the U.S., where most families spend until their heart is content and later miss the true fortune of the spirit. Many countries do acknowledge December 25 and treat it as a gift, just to be able to say I’m happy to experience another festive moment while spending very little or no money at all. I think the only thing that feels awkward about my experience here, is the fact that there’s no snow or cold weather to bear with, not that I’m complaining.