With the last of our vacation days used to go home for a wedding in October, we knew we would not be coming home for Christmas this year. Thus, we decided to make the month of December as festive as possible. We started it off by getting a real tree (all the way from Quebec – it smelled soooo good), decorating the apartment, mixing Christmas cocktails, listening to Christmas tunes, working on our Christmas puzzle, writing Christmas cards, watching a few Christmas movies, and squeezing a few games in over the month.
Dan was still in Taiwan the beginning of December so I attended a tree lighting ceremony at Jumeirah and then did some shopping at the Swiss Christmas Market with Rene and Nadia (they even had gluhwein and pork sausages on the grill). Reminded me slightly of Germany. I also went for the first time to the very popular Carols in the Desert with Jen, Spence, Amanda, Nat, Jerry, and their kids. It is a pretty amazing event with family and friends gathered in the desert, drinking hot chocolate, and singing Christmas Carols to a live band.
Dan returned and we were busy getting ready for our annual Christmas party on the 15th. We baked shortbread, Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, and spiced nuts along with Tourtiere pies, pizza digger dip, a cheese and meat platter, as well as veggies and dip. We served homemade mulled wine as well as our Christmas feature cocktail the Vixen punch – which did pack a bit of a punch. Colleagues and friends came and went and a few remained at the end of the night for some singing and dancing.
We were soon getting ready for the big day. We worked on Christmas Eve and then had our close friends over for dinner. We started the evening off with a pre-dinner Ebenezer Scrooge cocktail and then sat down for the main feast of prime rib with Yorkshire pudding, brussel sprouts, baby rosemary potatoes, and sticky toffee pudding for dessert. We enjoyed opening our Christmas crackers – Rene got a selfie stick and we figured out how to use it by the end of the night for some good group selfie pics. We finished off the night with some port and playing a boys vs. girls game of Catch Phrase.
Christmas morning was a bit nostalgic as we awoke to a thick fog which almost seemed like snow. We made a few calls home then dug into our stockings with a cup of coffee and Baileys. Dan was a bit nervous as this was his first year ever having to fill a stocking! He did well but his seemed to be a lot fuller than mine. We then had our morning breaky and started into the main gifts under the tree. We relaxed that afternoon and then headed to Rene and Nadia’s for Christmas dinner. They served us homemade eggnog (you can not get the real stuff here). Then the turkey and goose arrived with the fixings and we had cherry pie for dessert. We rushed home a bit early to make some calls back home.
We were back at work for the rest of the week and then it was the weekend. First up was going to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the Gold Vox cinema and then the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Saturday, December 30th. Originally, Nadal and Djokovic were supposed to play but we found out, day of, that they would not be there due to injuries. We were a bit disappointed but were soon excited to learn that Serena Williams was coming. It was her first match back after her maternity leave. We enjoyed watching both the men’s and women’s matches. It was then time for New Year’s Eve. We debated on what to do as we had a few different options but, in the end, we settled on having a fancy evening in. We picked up some oysters, bacon wrapped scallops, foie gras, caviar, and, of course, champagne. We made it to midnight and watched the fireworks over Emirates Palace. A great way to end off 2017!