Many businesses and public buildings, like the Abu Dhabi Ritz Carleton hotel, have elegant Christmas decorations.
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A Christmas tradition at many Abu Dhabi restaurants is the construction of full-sized gingerbread houses and structures.
It is winter season here in Abu Dhabi, which means that the mornings and evenings may call for a light sweater or wrap. The midday temperatures are comfortably warm in the rays of Arabian sunshine.
The desert here smells clean and fresh. And all around us is celebration. The first holiday here was the 45th UAE National Day, December 2. They celebrate National Day with lights and flags all about us, green, red, white and black.
Those red, green and white lights seem quite Christmas-y to this girl, as we pass them sparkling on the roadsides everywhere.
Then was Martyrs Day, to honor those in the UAE military who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country, December 3.
School will soon be out for the Winter Christmas break, and everywhere you hear, “Merry Christmas.” One sees Christmas trees, decorations and hears Christmas music.
Even though this is a Muslim country, everyone seems to enjoy the holidays of all religions. It's a very tolerant and loving place.
Tonight in the grocery store the Christmas carols had me humming along as I looked for just the right Christmas treats to take into the office for next week’s patients.
There’s a celebratory air about; the children and parents are excited about their plans for the holidays. It’s fun to tell the patients, “See you next year!”
Holidays, celebration, happiness, joy - it’s a wonderful time of year.
It is love. Christmas is about love; love that is irrepressible, bursting with joy, giving and giving, hurrying less and noticing more as we go to and from, smiling and connecting with people we meet, calling out “Merry Christmas,” hearing and rejoicing in the bells, as another angel gets his wings (as George Bailey discovered in “It’s a Wonderful Life”).
And while we’re thinking of that movie, remember, “All you can take with you is that which you have given away.”
Give love in your smile, your hand, your hugs, your warmth, your kindness.
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2018 Dr Chris Baker