It's my 5th Christmas celebration in Qatar. Being a Muslim country, Christmas here is just another ordinary day. It is noticeable though that shopping malls have more elaborate decorations now as compared to my first Christmas here in 2004. Also, many shops are now selling Christmas decors and goodies. It's really good that Qatar is tolerant of Christmas celebration. However, Christmas here is still dry and sad.
I filed for leave of absence in order to get a day off from work on Christmas day. Other companies such as my husband's and my brother's declared a holiday. Since everyone still went to work on the 24th, we didn't have time to prepare Noche Buena so we just had dinner at Bennigan's. Nothing special at Bennigan's - I just wanted to dine somewhere we haven't been before. The menu is very much like Chili's, Apple Bee's and Friday's. Interestingly, I just found out that Bennigan's company-owned restaurants in United States have closed down after filing for bankruptcy in July 2008 although franchises remained open.
After dinner, we went to corniche to take photos. Corniche again? Yes - because there's no other place to go to.
Group photo with buildings as the background....
Nothing compares to the Christmas celebration in the Philippines but as the saying goes, the most important thing is being with your loved-ones during Christmas. I am so lucky that I have a family here to celebrate Christmas with. I hope you also had a meaningful and blessed Christmas. May you have a great year ahead!
Photo credit: The last two photos taken by my husband.