I had been hoping my mum was joining us for Christmas again this year and I was planning 3 weeks of shopping, Christmas markets and searching for the ultimate Christmas tree. There's something quite magical about seeing Christmas trees and decorations on the beach in the sun. But she's not coming out now until the New Year.
I spent the first week of December in the UK and went to a panto which at Sarah from mumofthreeworld daughter is in.
The Christmas Tree at our daughters care home.
Street lights in Monmouth
I didn't fancy spending the run up to Christmas on my own, there's no magic to be had in that and as Peter was going to South Africa for 2 weeks I decided to join him and visit my friends there instead of being here on my own.
Christmas in South Africa is very different from here in Dubai, it's more about family and the actual occasion. The malls and shops are decorated and there are lots of Christmas items advertised. I went with a group of friends to the Jacaranda Kinderhuis light festival, who raise funds with their light display, closing off streets for people to walk around in safely and enjoy the lights, crafts, foods and fun fair.
And of course no trip to South Africa is complete without sorting through donations for Christmas boxes for vulnerable children
The weekend before Christmas we visited mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall to check out the decorations.
I've booked a Christmas Brunch at the JW Marquis Marriott, we have friends joining us. We will open presents in the morning from friends, mum and child 2, 2a and 2b who made the effort to ensure they were given to me to bring home on my visit in October and December. Cards were posted to us early for the same reason. I left and posted all our gifts and cards to family and friends in the UK in October.
Of course chocolate has been bought and we had a braai.
I've never really got used to Christmas in the sun for the past 9 years
After brunch and we will make phone calls to family in the UK in the evening. I've also downloaded Love Actually and Die Hard 2 to watch on Christmas Eve and am planning a visit to the beach today to see what decorations they have on display there.