Yes. Yes. And yes.
This fabulous tree is in the lobby of the Beach Rotana Hotel. Doug was insistent that I pose in front of it (he dearly loves his "posed shots"), and I acquiesced since I figured I provided scale for this tree
As I strolled the malls most store windows had some kind of Christmas display, and yes, there were Christmas carols playing over the speakers
Marks and Spencer, a British department store, had a very lovely display in their window. Inside I found a Christmas section where I purchased some Christmas decorations. I loved seeing all the British holiday goodies such as mincemeat pies, crackers (the kind you pull apart with a "pop", not the kind you eat), and plum puddings.
To be crass, Christmas sells, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that the malls and stores and restaurants would take advantage of that. But that is no different from back home, is it? And don't we all love to walk through our town or city and take in all the decorations and lights and enjoy the special food of the Season?
I for one was delighted that I could find decorations for the apartment. At home in Hoboken I have several boxes of ornaments and decorations, and I love (LOVE!) decorating my home. Since we'll be here for one Christmas only, I didn't want to spend money on things I would not use again. Still, I had to buy something!
I passed on the plum pudding and mincemeat pies at Marks and Spencer, but I did get this tiny "Charlie Brown" tree. I like it juxtaposed with my traditional Arab coffee pot.
Behold my Christmas philodendron! I mean I had to have lights. I found a small string at Lulu's, but when I brought it home and plugged it in there was a huge PHZZZZTTTTT!!!! and smoke and the acrid smell of fried wiring. Yikes! So I went back to Marks and Spencer and found a set that looked a little more trustworthy
I have a large bookshelf in the apartment but very few books (thus far), so I put out some Christmas presents, a trio of Godiva reindeer (one each for me, Doug and Jeff), and Christmas cards. The shelves will look bare again when I take them away
I have red holiday votives on the coffee table, and I'll have them lit when Jeff walks in the door this evening. And of course the Christmas philodendron will be lit - I can just see him grin and roll his eyes when he sees it with that "Oh Mom!" look (heh heh).
One thing I will miss is a Christmas Eve service. I did some Googling a few weeks back, and yes there are some churches in town, but since Jeff is arriving Christmas Eve we really couldn't attend anyway.
So yes.... I am mostly ready for Christmas. I used my funny little apartment oven for the first time this morning and baked Doug's pumpkin pie. It looks absolutely perfect, I am happy to report. I had to go online to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius so I could set the oven temperature properly. Jeff's brownies are also baked - he's not a pie guy, so I make him a big brownie sundae with ice cream, fudge sauce and whipped cream. Later this afternoon I'll assemble a French Toast Breakfast Casserole which I'll bake Christmas morning when Jeff wakes up (and after all his traveling, who knows when that will be!).
The afternoon Call to Prayer is happening...... so I will take this moment to send a prayer to all of you: Peace and Joy this year, my friends. And much love. Always!