We decided to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving because I had hosted a baby shower at our house that same weekend and it was already a mess!
This is actually our first Christmas to be spending in Saudi! The first year I left in November and John came for a couple weeks around Christmas and then last year with buying the house we all went back and spent time in Washington. And as crazy as it sounds, this is my first Christmas away from my parents...ever. So, lots of firsts!
It was fun to see all the decorations we had brought, some we found while shopping in Bahrain and figure out how to decorate our house for Christmas. John put up the tree for himself the first year but I haven't decorated our tree in several years. We had a good time as a family putting it up and decorating and I was thankful that we have plastic ornaments or we would have had a big mess with all the dropping of ornaments!
The one thing I didn't ship over here was our nativity scene (as well as our nutcrackers, special ornaments....pretty much anything I would be sad if it was confiscated). I always thought about bringing one back but I forgot until we got closer to Christmas and I was getting pretty sad about not having a nativity scene. One of my family traditions was reading the Christmas story and putting out the nativity scene together before we started any decorating and I was sad about not having that for the kids. Well, there was a holiday open house on camp and there was a nativity scene for sale. I was so excited! It was super expensive and I paid way over what it was worth but it was worth it for us. We did realize however when we were going through the story that there are not shepherds :( So, we are looking to bring another one back with us for next year.
I made a wreath for the front door from odds and ends I found in our decorations!
Our Tractor Santa made it in our shipment and is in the front yard. Graham LOVES it! He always says it is just like his G's tractor and gets so excited to watch it inflate.
It is a different feeling being in Saudi for Christmas but it has its positives for sure....we are loving the lack of advertising, materialism and crazy shopping associated with Christmas and are enjoying being able to focus on what we want to do to celebrate as a family. And I am so thankful to have a beautiful family of friends to be celebrating with.
And I get the best of both worlds as the kids and I are flying out on December 26 for four weeks in Washington! So excited!