Mele Kalikimaka a me Hau`oli Makahiki hou! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year y'all Spreading the Holidaze Cheer

What is the spirit of Christmas I ask?  How to celebrate the Spirit of Christmas in the Middle East?  It's not difficult as my sweet host island Bahrain looks all decked out for the holidays- their holidays albeit... Bahrain's flag is red and white- to symbolize the people and the blood they shed for their freedom (they are still shedding it BTW). Their National Day celebrations were all last week, but the physical day is December 16th.  New Year's is also a huge celebration here- as elsewhere in the world. So, the island is decked out with lights that likely can be seen from space.  There is also many, MANY Christmas Trees New Year's Trees... 

So, here i am on Christmas morning at my computer to divulge my thoughts to you.  My Christmas Spirit you ask?  Well, I have my Cuppa Joe next to me- with hot chocolate and Peppermint Schnapps (thanks Navy base).  What time is it you ask?  Why, it's 7:30 am.  Why am I not at work you may ask? (Muslims don't celebrate Christmas- obviously). Our dean at the university said we could take the day off if we wanted.  I don't teach on Thursdays anyway (or Mondays or Tuesdays) so, why not? 

So I'm steadily sipping my delicious coffee and I have the Christmas Pineapple lights on and Frankincense (from Oman) wafting throughout the house.  Here's a picture for you to visualize.

The kitties love catnip :) 

I'm in the Holidaze Spirit... Let the festivities begin!

I've got Bob Marley blaring (to drown out the principal of the boys elementary school across the street on her daily morning tirade with the loud speaker), the kitties are high on fresh catnip and playing with their toys, and I am in my own alternative state.  Too bad I couldn't make it to 6:30 am yoga class this morning though... Oh well. That could have possibly helped for what's in store later today- 2 brunches...

I'm hanging with some friends in Sar for lunch, then hitting up my acupuncturist before heading to my host Bahraini family that invited me to their Christmas Supper celebrations (Madam S is also part Native American- Nez Pierce).  Tonight I think we're hitting up Al Bastan holiday market at the Formula One racetrack, or the Manama Souk and Bab al Bahrain.

The holiday season here is pretty special and beautiful.  The weather could not be more spectacular: low 80's.  I've got the Saudi Arabia contingent coming over tomorrow morning- perhaps with my sister in tow.  I know it's going to be a festive weekend as they will all be geared up for some sorta naughty shenanigans, which includes copious amounts of adult libations...

I'm thinking they need to go to the horse races, the al Bastan Market, Adliya fun, Manama Souk, the camel farm, and of course Rik's Kountry Kitchen... Oh, let's not forget Sherlock Holmes Bar- as that watering hole holds a special place in my heart- always. It's funny, when my friends come over from Saudi, of course they are up for da kine adult libations. Now, because I have easy access to it here, I hardly partake... So, party's on!  Speaking of which, I just might partake in a shot of tequilla as well this Christmas Morning... Why not?  Yea. 

Yea, Bob Marley & Busta Rhymes singing it up!  Yes-I. I'm feeling irie listening to Rastaman Chant.  I definitely CAN see clearly now.  It's been a while, but it's definitely a bright, sun shiny day.  So lookie here, Master Sami Bey and Shaika Spot received a Christman present from Auntie Starr:

The kits got a catnip toy from Auntie Starr. 
 I've moved onto some Black Uhuru.  Deep roots.  Chill Out New York.  Now I'm deeper into the Holidaze Spirit.  It's getting me to thinking that I'll be somewhere new next year.  Where- I don't yet know.  This FEELS exciting.  I'm pretty sure it'll be somewhere in the MENA/Turkey region, but who knows.  I'm enjoying my wanderlust and seeing where it takes me.  Bahrain was totally unexpected.  I accepted the challenge and haven't looked back.  I've learned so much about me, Middle Eastern culture, and just letting it all unfold.  I've come to appreciate many things living abroad and, for me, that is the spirit of humanity.  The challenges I face and overcome are so gratifying- from trying to communicate (sometimes successfully) in another language to simply trying to drive a car and not get into an accident. Angie-baby and I have this saying every time we get back to our apartments after navigation through countless roundabouts, "another successful passage we've come out of unscathed.  It's been a good day." 

2014 has been a great year of exploration, commitment and happiness.  

Mele Kalikimaka a me Hau`oli Makahiki Hou to all!!!