There’s no Santa this year!

Being a OFW (Overseas Filipino worker) we look forward to go home to Philippines every December to celebrate Christmas with our love ones, but there are few circumstances we can not.. for various reasons such as, company disapproved the leave,financially uptight etc. So for those, who are celebrating Christmas in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah in particular, we tried to gather every friends to be with us , decorated our home with Christmas tree and tried to make the atmosphere and food like Christmas. Oh how I miss the real Christmas celebration with family.

For the last two years, we had Santa made in China http://jamilamimi.com/2013/12/26/our-santa-is-made-from-china/and from Lebanon.http://jamilamimi.com/2014/12/25/to-you-and-yours-our-santa-is-made-in-lebanon/  this year , it’s different! There’s no Santa and no food on the table.

Yes, Santa is nowhere to be found 🙂 we decided to celebrate our Christmas eve at Sheraton Hotel. And of course, before we dine, we had some photo shoots at home (we anticipated we can not remove our abaya covering) and some few shots at the lobby of the hotel.

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It’s a Seafood buffet at Sheraton Hotel, Jeddah KSA.. forget the Cholesterol and Uric acid.. here comes the Christmas celebration 🙂

After the sumptuous dinner, we strolled along Boulevard and enjoyed the ambience and the breezy air of the night. Oh! We miss going back home..the boneless lechon,puto bongbong, pancit palabok etc. well, we miss our family too! not only the food 🙂

For all expatriates here in Saudi Arabia, especially for those who set aside their own personal happiness in leu of Holiday festivities because of economic reasons to fulfil their obligations and responsibilities.. I salute you! Cheers for all the sacrifices you made and will still be making. You are not alone!

Have  a Merry Christmas and A prosperous New Year!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi

 

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Our Santa is made from China!

Christmas day in Jeddah is just like an ordinary working day. As an expatriates we tried to make the best we can to celebrate the occasion. My friends and I decided to have some get together last night. Each one of us brought a gift and a dish to share with everyone.

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My first attempt to make a cheese cake was a success! (I believed so 🙂 ).

Our little angels sang a carol for us and even did some fun dress up and posed with our very own sir chief! 🙂 My friend looks like Chinese and so the night was full of fun with our very own Santa (made in China).

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And so there goes another Christmas in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. God blessed.

I also wish everyone to have a Prosperous New Year!!!

Jamilamimi

I planted my Christmas tree ;-)

This will be my 26th Christmas in Saudi Arabia, way back then, it was hard to find a Christmas tree and decor and its even a taboo to greet each other  a “Merry Christmas ” in public. But now a days and these past few years,Shops are on festive decorations, people (whatever religion) greet us “Merry Christmas” or “Happy holidays”. Shops freely sell artificial  Christmas trees and decor, gift wrapping and discount sale too.

Hence, we couldn’t celebrate freely in public, we always  make sure we have Christmas decor at home and celebrate it with our love ones too! Obviously, not everyone is around ,so a group of friends just come together and tried to mimic the ambience of holiday season in the Philippines.

My children are not coming home this Christmas so I was hesitant to put up my Christmas tree but I have my brothers and my friends to celebrate with so what’s the heck! bring it on….shall i say, get it out from the box!! Yes, it’s a fake Christmas tree!

Am I excited? Sigh! I wish I can say that but as I was assembling it, the memories of my children, their excited faces asking if Santa is coming to Saudi Arabia huh! if he got an entry visa maybe! Kidding aside,having kids at home is like Christmas everyday. I really miss them so much.

Oh well, let met continue my story, I was already on the third top to complete the Christmas tree when I  heard a sound, Crackkkk!

Your guess is right! The stand broke down, I called my elder brother to help me fixed it but no matter what we do like, tied it…, glue it…it just doesn’t work!

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Last option? I planted it! 🙂 literally, I used to have a  plant in a big pot but it didn’t grow up,the soil was still intact..why not?

So here you go.. Christmas tree in the pot!!

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Merry Christmas to all! :-)

Jamilamimi

Christmas in Saudi Arabia- how do we celebrate?

It’s not easy to celebrate Christmas in a place like Saudi Arabia, where almost everything is forbidden like, mixed party, religious activities for non-Muslim etc, and what more if you are home away from home meaning, your family are not complete. A lot of OFW (overseas Filipino workers) are home alone (no wife or husband or children) it is really depressing but in spite of the homesickness, the spirit of Christmas overcome the loneliness.

I am lucky to have my youngest son with me, my brothers and my friends and with the advent of technology,” Skype “group video call made the distance a bit closer, I was able to see and talk  to my parents, my eldest son and my brothers, their wife and their children simultaneously.

However, a family will always be incomplete without a father, my husband is so distant, I wonder how much the cost of bottle of beer or a case maybe ,compared to the cost of calling and hearing the voices of his family. Virac, Catanduanes is an island but internet cafe is amazingly around each corner, so I don’t think internet connection is a problem. Probably a better quote would be “sorry ka na lang mas mahal ko ang beer” oh so, it’s not the price! 🙁 , in fairness, I got a short text greetings of “Merry Christmas”.Ahhh at least in between the “gulf”,”crack” and jokes!!!

my TFCK family, I miss u all

Oh well, life continues and i am so thankful for the blessings in spite of my pain (physical and emotional) I am still functionally alive and able.

old and new friends

I have seen old and new friends with their family, though, it gives some twist in my heart, I am thankful and lucky with my two sons.I am also thankful to received messages of greetings from a lot of friends ,relatives and a “name” poem, and I am happy to share it to you:

M-ost eloquent

I- instrument of beauty; a

M- mirror of life

I-n the crest of wave.

S-uch irresistible beauty beyond

U-nderstanding yet

A-mazingly spontaneous,

R-eaching out to share the

E-xcitement and

Z-est for life

author: Joey,… thank you, though we see each other only once or twice in a year. to say “hi and bye”, I am glad to received this on 25th of December.

“the best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”- Burton Hillis

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