It’s been a while now since I posted something here. And since it is Christmas Day I think it’s best that I post something related to this season. 🙂
I’ve been in the UAE for four years now and this is my fifth Christmas in this wonderful country. UAE is actually a Muslim country, however the best part of living here is that everyone is being respected regardless of our beliefs and religion. This year, even the crown prince of Abu Dhabi wishes us Christians peace and happiness during the Christmas season.
If you visit the UAE, you might be surprise how people here live in peace and harmony despite the mixture of various nationalities and religion. We Filipinos as one of the biggest expats population in the UAE celebrate Christmas like how we celebrate it in the Philippines. We still attend the “nine mornings” or what we call “Simbang Gabi”. If you want to get an idea how Filipinos in the UAE attend Simbang Gabi, you mighht want to visit this article by the Filipino Times – https://filipinotimes.net/photo-gallery/2016/12/19/in-photos-filipinos-in-dubai-continue-simbang-gabi-tradition/.
In our flats, we continue to celebrate Christmas by cooking our favorite Filipino dishes. We also have our Christmas Parties – in the office, group of friends, flatmates, teammates, etc. Living in the UAE is actually like living in the Philippines. It is like a mini Philippine City where you see Filipinos almost everywhere. 😉
However, since UAE is a Muslim country, Christmas day is till not a holiday which we understand and respect. Most of us continue to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It is like a normal working day for most of us. Earlier today I also worked in the office. However, we had a little celebration in the office. Since majority of the employees are expats and Christians, we had a Christmas Lunch. This was sponsored by one of the hotels that our company has partnership with. They prepared a Turkey-themed Christmas lunch.
We also had our secret Santa in the office and exchanged gifts earlier. It was fun and we totally enjoyed it. In that little time of celebration we forgot that we are in a foreign land and away from our families. Celebrations like this make us feel loved and give us more reason to continue working. 🙂
Let me share a short video of our Christmas Lunch in the office.
There are so many reasons to Celebrate the Christmas Season. I am glad that I am surrounded by good people and working in a good company. However, I also hope that everyone will not forget the real reason of our celebration – Jesus Christ!
May we find time in our busy schedule to talk to Him and thank Him for the life that He has given us, for the blessings that we continue to enjoy everyday. I pray for everyone to know Jesus more and follow His way. 🙂
Merry Christmas everyone!