First Christmas in Qatar

You live and learn, as I’ve said on several occasions; every day’s a school day!

We have had a mostly pleasant Christmas day, I shan’t bore you with the finer details as to what we had for lunch (roast beef, sprouts, Yorkshire pudding, honey-glazed carrots, shallots, and a lovely fruit salad for dessert!), oops, I just inadvertently did, but as I said above, we have learnt a valuable lesson.

OK, before I go much further, let’s go back a few, if not several hours back, mainly to around 1 am. This was more or less the time in which we were summoned to Katja’s bedroom (when I say we, I refer to the Royal we); Cathy went through to find out what all the fuss was all about. Katja was awake and very excited about Christmas (I am sure MANY other parents can understand this). However, she was too scared to come through to our bedroom as she was worried Santa would see her and she would have no presents. So; Cathy spent the rest of the night in her room, being woken up at regular intervals being asked “was that noise father Christmas? – at one point, even I was woken up by a sudden loud noise which was nothing more than a bottle of Fairy liquid falling into the sink following a sudden gust of wind (the kitchen window was open).

05:30 – Good time to open presents

With her dog from Santa!

With her dog from Santa!

Anyway, 05:30 arrived and Kati could no longer contain her excitement. We had packed a pillow case with little pressies (Kati’s Christmas stocking is in our shipment, currently in Dubai) so we improvised by using a pillow case. She had asked Santa for a dog with a lead so she can walk it (she misses Sophie like crazy, Sophie was our dog who is now living with a friend of ours in Spain and is being spoilt rotten). In addition to the dog she had loads of little gifts such as books, colouring books, pens, hair clips etc, etc etc. We spread opening presents throughout the day; starting with presents we had bought her. Then as we Skyped with Grandma in Spain, she opened Grandma’s present during our Skype call and the same thing again with Nanna and Poppa, Andy and Tim in England. The lesson we learnt is that for next Christmas, we will not buy her toys we have to assemble ourselves. Virtually every toy we bough had to be assembled, so you can imagine, it is now 18:30 and I have been assembling toys (with Cathy) since 05:30 am. Please, please, please, don’t get me wrong, we are so fortunate to be in the enviable position to be able to give our little girl so many toys for Christmas that it gives me something to complain about when it comes to assembling them. She has been such a good girl for the past few months,ever since arriving here really. Our famous shipment has been delayed and delayed, she has had very few toys since we arrived here; some people have been ever so kind and shared toys with her which has kept her going. It was beautiful to see her face light up as she opened her presents, I have never seen her so excited, I thought she was about to explode! Lesson learnt today has been to make sure when we buy pressies for Kati, they come assembled!

We have just watched the Queen’s speech and are winding down from what has been a mostly enjoyable day. Tomorrow we are out with Doha Joy Rides for a bike ride around Aspire Zone.

As the year draws to an end, I shall leave you with the following though: “Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us — a time when we can look back on the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.” — David Cameron

Take care of yourselves and each other.


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