We made the decision to stay in Doha over the Christmas break, and knew that it would be difficult to be away from family and friends over the holidays. We tried to combat homesickness by listening to Christmas music and watching lots of Christmas movies. We watched lots of movies with snow, because that is one of the things that we missed the most!
Instead of cooking for ourselves over the holidays, we decided to go to a hotel around the area for a nice dinner, both for Christmas Eve and Christmas. Because the hotels are American, they all offer really nice buffets or sit down dinners, so Dave and I opted to go that route 🙂
On Christmas Eve, we decided to go to the Four Seasons, at the Brasserie on the Beach. (Sadly, it was not on the beach, but did have a few views of the beach). We entered the restaurant and were immediately offered some warm mulled wine and cookies – it was delicious! We had made reservations ahead of time, so we did not have to wait for a table. We were seated at a table that had 2 Christmas crackers for Dave and I. (We had also brought our own, so we had extra)! I mentioned the crackers in an earlier post, it is a British thing. The crackers are popped open, and inside is a paper crown, a gift, and a joke! Dave and I wore our crowns all night and had a lot of fun.
The dinner was food stations – similar to the red carpet party, which was catered by the Four Seasons. There was a soup station, carving station, sushi station, Asian station, oysters station, salads, and a dessert station complete with a chocolate fountain! It was a large amount of food, and everything was delicious! It is probably one of the few times I will have sushi on Christmas Eve, but it was great 🙂
I think I have mentioned that Muslim hospitality in Doha means that you will never be rushed away from your table. We were invited to stay as long as we wanted, since the table was ours all night. We had a really nice, long leisurely dinner and never felt pressure to leave. Also, it turns out it was raining while we were at dinner, so its a good thing we stayed as long as we did!
At the end of the night, Santa arrived and had gifts for the children who were there! The kids were excited and everyone was taking their pictures with him. There were even some Muslim women in their traditional dress who seemed to enjoy Santa’s presence and had their picture taken with them. It was interesting to see – since Christmas is not their holiday, and there are certainly mixed opinions on the ex-pats celebrating it here in Doha.
Here is a picture of me with my paper crown and key chain pen that was in my cracker! 😛 (Sorry for the poor quality, it was taken with my iPhone – my Christmas gift from Davey! Oh, and no clue why it is off-center!)