Friday, December 20, 2013

Celebrating Christmas in Saudi

It was almost a year ago to the day that Brad got the email saying he had an interview with Saudi Aramco.  I remember being shocked at WHERE the interview was but EXCITED at the possibilities!  I remember having to keep the interview a secret but as we finished up our Christmas shopping I would look at Brad and whisper, "I wonder where we will be next year from Christmas!"  The thought was exciting and overwhelming.  We had NO idea when or where we'd end up... but for about 5 years we have always dreamed about a destination Christmas AND we have dreamed about living abroad.... who knew it was ALL come together for us in the Christmas of 2013?!?!
Our Christmas celebration is starting out with our vision of living overseas!  We are living in Saudi Arabia and celebrating Christmas (early) in OUR home with OUR new friends!  Amazing.  At times when I look back to my dream and vision and then look around and realize I'm living it.... (I know I probably say this a lot but it is still SO true) I'm in shock and awe of our blessings and our new reality!  Because I was gone to the States and dealing with jet lag we didn't get ALL of our decorations out this year..... however, we still did try to carry one a lot of our traditions.  Our Christmas Eve night we had friends over for dinner, we made homemade pizza, and then the kids put out reindeer food before everyone headed home for the evening.
After getting everyone in bed..... all of the kids were outside and I told them I thought I saw Santa so my big kids went RUNNING inside and got in bed SO fast.... Brad and I quickly set up and got ready for Santa to come!!!
True to Brewster fashion, despite going to bed around 11... the kids were up by 5:15am and ready to see what Santa brought!!!!
The big kids went to quick work opening their stockings.... Ethan, on the other hand, wasn't too interested.  I'm not sure if he was scared of seeing Santa or what but it took us a while to reel him in and we could only get him engaged by me sitting down with him and opening his stocking with him.
Then they were ALL in on the fun!!!
And Ethan really enjoyed opening presents!!!
After our trip to Oman Ethan has been really obsessed with turtles.... Nammie and Anna found Ethan this amazing turtle puppet!!!  It was a hit!!
Keeping things quiet and calm with 3 big kids... two of which can read or recognize names... was a bit hard.  There were certain gifts I wanted them to open at certain times... but when I wasn't handing out gifts fast enough they would try to take things into their own hands... I guess I need to go to a numbering system or something!!! : )
We had gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Brewster to open... treasures from Australia!  That was a fun surprise!
We also had gifts from Nammie and Anna and a nice envelope from Opa and Nina to be used on our Christmas travels to Germany.  We were so blessed to have beautiful and plentiful gifts under the tree!
There were even a few surprises for Daddy and Mommy! : )
One thing that is hard as the mom aka shopper.... others such as Santa or Daddy always end up getting the credit for the good gifts.... I guess that's okay since I get credit for most of the day to day stuff!!!  Owen has been wanting a new watch and daddy got him a superhero one... he was SO excited!  He put the watch on right away and has told us no less that 150 times what time it is today!!  I LOVE it when gifts work out just like you had envisioned they would!!! :)
Another special treat of this morning was that we got to share it with Nammie!!!  We had Nammie on Facetime on the iPad and set up on the chair to watch.  The big kids sort of forgot she was there (we skyped with Opa and Nina last year so they are use to this tradition) but Ethan didn't forget.  Every time he had something to open he would take it over to show it to her.  So sweet!!!
I wanted video of them opening their big Santa gift so we lined them all up together and gave them each their gift!  Love these kids... my Christmas presents!! : )  Owen got a new scooter, Addyson got an iPod (she calls it a phone), and Ethan got a stuffed Mickey Mouse.  Everything they wanted!
After all of the gifts were opened... it was time to open the gifts and start using our new presents... this is MY FAVORITE part of Christmas!!!!
Owen had asked for a dinosaur bone excavation kit.... funny thing is that I bought him one this summer and brought it over with us.... Mommy got to give him that gift and I was COOL for that!!  He went straight to work digging bones out... while the little kids looked on (and Addyson played with her phone).
Addyon talked about her new phone and asked Daddy no less than 50 times to add new videos and games to it.
And we all just relaxed and chilled together in our Christmas jammies ALL day.... Addyson still with her phone and Owen checking his watch.... I LOVE Christmas morning.  And the funny thing is... this wasn't even REALLY Christmas morning... it was just OUR Christmas morning.  I love that this day is what (and when) you make of it.... and in our little, quiet camp... we made the most out of it!!!
While it was weird to have the sun shining and no snow..... I had to realize that this is our new "normal" of our Christmas will be and as soon as we get use to that idea, which I soon did, I realize that there are SO many perks of camp life in Saudi on Christmas morning.  Christmas was about US and ONLY US... our little family of 5.... and enjoying our day and our gifts to the fullest!
Which we did.... Addyson made us cake pops for dessert using her new cake pop maker.... opening gifts, playing, cooking, napping, playing some more...
eating... and playing again!!!  What a WONDERFUL day celebrating Christmas in Saudi!!!

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