Sunday, 21 December 2014

The build up to Christmas isn't quite the same when you are living in the desert and it's 25 degrees outside.

I find myself living vicariously through all of the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland posts that my friends have been putting up on Facebook, and pining after all of the things that symbolise the approach of December 25th - fur hats, big winter coats, wooly scarves and mittens. Mulled wine. Christmas parties. Official Christmas jumper day. Mince pies. I don't even like Mince pies, and yet...I want one.

Despite my festive envy, I have loved seeing how my friends and family have been getting into the Christmas spirit elsewhere in the world.

My lovely flatmate Marion jetted home to Germany earlier in the month, before flying to Canada to take in the sights of snow covered Niagara Falls. This photo is so beautiful and Christmassy! Marion still looks super chic even wrapped up in her winter layers!

In the UK, one of my best friends Megan took to the beaches of Southampton to spread a bit of festive cheer with her family. I can't wait to head down South to visit her, my other best friend Charlie, and Charlie's little girl Evie, in the New Year.

Back at my family home, my mum has been busy sprinkling Christmas magic all around the house. I love her decorations - she even manages to turn a simple fruit bowl into a work of art in the centre of the dining table.

I'm so excited to spend New Years Day gathered around the dining table with my nearest and dearest to celebrate not only a belated Christmas Day, but my wonderful Auntie Jan's birthday, and the start of a brand new year. Mumma C's epic roast dinner, desserts aplenty, cocktails, champers - nobody does Christmas dinner like my mum!

Whilst the Christmas preparations are in full swing around the world, that isn't to say that Doha isn't doing everything in it's power to get into the swing of Christmas too. Far from it. I am both very surprised and very appreciative that my adopted country are so accepting of Christmas.

Most of the hotels have a full festive itinerary beginning on December first. From tree lighting ceremonies, to gingerbread making classes, to festive markets, to Christmas Day brunch on the 25th December - the hotels of Doha are doing their utmost to cater for those expats celebrating Christmas in Doha.

My apartment block is no exception - I came home from work one day to find that the lobby had been decked out with Christmas trees, reindeers, faux presents and snowmen, with Christmas carols playing throughout the communal areas of the building.

The decorations don't just stop in the hotels either. Even a trip to the mall is a festive affair.

Carrefour has morphed into it's very own Santa's grotto.

We had already purchased our Christmas tree last year, but we bought some extra lights from here, and I also slipped a couple of these furry friends into my trolley, as they were far too cute to leave on the shelf...

Despite the weather outside being more delightful than frightful, I too have been trying to get myself into the Christmas spirit. I can't walk past Costa without ordering a salted caramel white chocolate hot chocolate! They literally do the best ever festive beverages, and I'm excited to get back to England to see what different flavours they have compared to Doha.

I even attempted some festive baking in the form of chocolate dipped shortbread, but despite being a winner aesthetically, sadly they didn't taste quite right so no pictures of these!

We put our tree up at the beginning of the month, and now the presents are slowly mounting up underneath.

With a cinnamon spice candle lit, and the tree lights on, our living room looks so cosy in the evenings.

Tonight after work, I popped to B/Attitude Spa at Beverley Hills tower to jazz up my toes in time for Christmas day - OPI An affair in Red Square is the perfect Christmas polish.

(Image courtesy of Google)

I will be spending Christmas day itself at the Grand Hyatt hotel, where the general manager Christoph very kindly squeezed us in. We will be sitting outside on the terrace, getting very merry on bubbles and beer in the sunshine. Myself, the loved one, his flatmate Toddy, our Portuguese colleague Joao, his mum, dad, and brother. A lovely little crowd.

Whilst it certainly won't be the same as Christmas at home with my family, it doesn't sound too bad at all :)

How are you spending your Christmas?


  1. Your dining room at your family home looks very cozy. I can feel the Christmas spirit just by looking at the photos.

    The Christmas lights at City Center looks depressing compared to the other photos, though.

    1. Hi Lou-Ann,

      Thanks for your comments about my family home - it definitely has a cozy feel to it!

      You are right about the City Center mall, although I suppose in the main mall they can't go too crazy with the festive lights. It is nice that the shops make an effort though, and sell trees and decorations.

      Wishing you a very merry festive period!

    2. Merry Christmas to you, too! Have a blessed one!