We went home to Houston for the holidays this year. After spending 2 Christmases in Dubai, it was fun to reconnect to those Christmas traditions you take for granted while living there. I didn’t realize how much I missed things like seeing pretty little girls in festive Christmas dresses or admiring those old, familiar ornaments on my parents’ Christmas tree. There were other things I knew I missed and was anxious to share them with the kids. Obviously, quality time with the family tops the list. Seeing your children watch your mother make your grandmother’s apple strudel from scratch is something you just can’t recreate when you’re far away.
Visiting Target and its never-ending Christmas aisles was quite an experience. Wow. I had forgotten how over-the-top and commercial Christmas can get. The baking goodies! The wrapping and bows! The decorations! The ornaments and serving platters and towels and candy and and and! Normally, this kind of thing would make me feel a little disgusted. But, after being away from it all for a couple of years, I have to admit I got a little giddy when I saw the sheer vastness of the selection. Even though there are plenty of Christmas items available in Dubai (as I mentioned in last year’s post), the variety and abundance obviously can’t compete with back home, and prices soar as retailers take advantage of expats aching to create an “authentic” Christmas vibe in their homes.
But Target wasn’t the only one guilty of gluttony. As much as I love them, the amount of panettone, tex mex and red wine I consumed was, by the end of the trip, gag-inducing. And then there was the mountain of things we had to bring home including things like Christmas presents and groceries I can’t find in Dubai. But honestly, this looks just ridiculous, doesn’t it? Who needs this much stuff?
So now that we are home and suffering from jet lag, it’s a good time to think up to-do lists at 3:30 a.m. Start diet. Start exercising. Clean out toy boxes. Clean out closets. Clean out kitchen cupboards. Throw away. Give away. Reduce. Organize. Even though you want to cling to the family you left behind, Christmas has a powerful way of making you want to shed the excess of the holidays, be they pounds or household items, doesn’t it? So here’s to a fresh start! Happy New Year everyone!