Eve of Christmas. Nothing significant. Spent, I just slept the night away. We worked late to finish up furnishing the Adliya project flats so we'd have the day off for Christmas Day. It's not a holiday here, obviously. But well-meaning bosses would give their Christian employees the day off to celebrate. Some for a full day. Some for a half. So Pinoys usually celebrate the night of Christmas Day. More like the Christmas Dinner of westerners, not our tradish noche buena. I think.

Christmas Day. Joel has invited me to celebrate Christmas at Tom and Marlyn's with their cute 6-month-old baby Claire and Kuya Boy, their flatmate, whom I just met there that night. It's not my first Christmas away from home. But it's my first Christmas celeb with people I barely know. I've met Tom and Marlyn previously, though, but it could feel like I was crashing a party or something. I made sure though that we brought something, Joel and I could share the bill. A box of Popeye's chicken isn't much, but it is something.

But it is Christmas. And we were all Pinoys. So the party went on. Dinner and drinks and what else, karaoke. After midnight, conversations of nothing-ness. It was a sleep-over party.

Day after Christmas was a Friday. Rest Day in Arabic countries. We didn't have anything planned. DVDs were there waiting to be viewed. We watched about 2. The Day the Earth Stood Still. And Hero Wanted. So so.

That Christmas celeb was not, though. It was in fact pretty merry. Thanks to the kindness and graciousness of our hosts. They keep doing this, we just might keep coming back. Haha! Now that's the spirit of Christmas.

Christmas Dinner.

Grilled Fish.

Pho c/o Kuya Boy.

Our Popeye's contribution.

Assorted Grilled Tikka.

Pulutan (Thai something) c/o Kuya Boy.

And for the drinks, ehem, Bombay Sapphire.

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