“Oops, I forgot” the pedicurist said, and giggled.
What she had forgotten was the green glittery nail in my pedicure. A little shiny nod to Christmas amongst my red toes. A dab of polish remover soon set things right, and my first real nod to Christmas was complete.
I was inspired to add a Christmassy touch by the Christmas carols that played as I sat in the salon and by the Santa hats that all the staff wore. Before that, I hardly realised it was so close. Living in a Muslim country, it just doesn’t take over in the same way. And having a busy baby to look after doesn’t leave much time to think about it. So the holiday has really snuck up on me this year, and I’m not feeling very prepared or festive (although Boney M Christmas on my phone, and an afternoon of carol singing (complete with mulled wine) a couple of weeks ago have helped a little).
We may not have nailed that sense of festivity that starts to hit during December at home. But today we pretty much nailed expat life.
The Engineer’s Baby had her first nap while I walked around the block and listened to podcasts.
When she woke up, we headed out pretty much straight away to the pool. She had a little dip, then some friends arrived, and one kind friend watched her while I swam some laps. We all chilled out in the sun for a while, and when all the babies were tired, we headed off. The same kind friend saved me from driving off with the swimming bag still on the roof, and we got home for a second nap.
Just after she woke up, The Engineer arrived home with our Friday lunch (murtabak and curry), and we ate while she practised her sitting.
As she fell asleep for nap #3, we called The Engineer’s parents on Skype and chatted about plans for our trip home. Once we hung up, and the stores were open again, I headed out for the aforementioned pedicure, and I am currently writing this post and sipping coffee as my nails dry. And once they are dry, I will head home for a Christmas “photo shoot”, and some baby playing.
The thing is that life may be different now to our life at home, and the holidays are a time that makes it quite obvious. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. We may not have a Christmas tree. But we’re still enjoying our family, which is the most important thing about Christmas for me.
And next weekend when we arrive back in New Zealand and enjoy our first Christmas as a family of three, along with our extended families, I am sure that will more than make up for the un-Christmassy lead up.
Plus, we might be able to snag some decorations in the sales to prepare for next year when this baby might actually understand Christmas! (if we can fit them in our luggage that is; I’m not convinced!)