Having grown up in a country where the Christmas spirit kicks off by the time the month turns “ber” (starting in September), I can’t help but miss it so much now that I am here in the land where Christmas is nothing but an ordinary day. I have already spent 4 Christmases far away from home. Apart from missing my family, the noche buena feast or Christmas eve dinner where lechon (roasted pig) is the star on the dining table, I also miss seeing amazing Christmas lights and giant Christmas trees.
Giant Christmas trees are always a big deal in the Philippines. Looks like they are always up for Guinness World Record. In my hometown in particular, the giant Christmas tree in the City Hall has been the main attraction every holiday season.
Last Christmas 2011, even away from the normal holiday hype, I was hopeful that at least I can get a glimpse of beautiful Christmas decorations, a giant Christmas tree in particular…and so we went to Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat. I heard they do have a giant tree in the lobby.
photo via carrier.co.uk
On the day that we visited the hotel, it was also the same day that they put down the tree. I was late 🙁
On this year’s Christmas, our good friend Francis took me, Rolex and another friend to a post-Christmas dinner. It was a Christmas weekend since Dec 25 fell on a Tuesday. With no prior reservations we went to The Chedi. It was raining and all guests were moved to the indoor restaurant. As a result, they could not accommodate us anymore, well they can by 9PM and it was still 7PM when we arrived. We decided to go to Al Bustan Palace instead. Though I was also hungry like the rest of us, it made me smile thinking that finally I can see the Christmas tree. And so I did!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! See you in 2013.
PS. Rolex & I will be in Dubai for the New Year. More than the fireworks and the shopping, my highschool friend just arrived after spending Christmas in the Philippines and she came back to Dubai with…guess what? lechon!