The holidays have been very pleasant. The temperatures were in the mid 80S to low 90S. Not a snowball in sight. I never received a single work related call.
We spent Christmas Eve afternoon out on the sand dunes of the Sahara dessert with some embassy friends. We had a picnic with Dina's homemade biscuits, German ham, French cheeses and wines, Nims, and sodas for the kids. Our Land Cruiser performed superiorly to most of the other 4WD vehicles who got stuck in the sand and we helped push out.
As dusk approached, we watched the ever changing shadows form from the dunes and saw a beautiful orange sunset out on the plateaus of the horizon. The kids rolled down the steep sandy slopes and we sang some Christmas carols to a group of Nigerian natives who came out of no where and shared in our festivities.
We each opened a few gifts from my family and Dina and I watched a movie (Meet the Fockers) and wrapped gifts late into the night. The kids woke us up early with excitement. Santa came and left presents! I drank some strong coffee and we had breakfast while opening gifts and listening to Christmas music. Stefan played with his wooden track for cars and trains. Camille got horseback riding gear and lots of good books.
Our friends came over around 2PM and we started cooking and baking while the kids played and we sipped Lillet, wine, and snacked on hor-d'oeuvres. Dinner was great. Dina roasted a turkey (or perhaps a peacock) with stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Sirianna made a Finish raspberry linzer tort served with homemade ginger snaps and lace cookies. Zuri stayed to clean and help serve. A very relaxed evening.
It's been quiet at work. Many folks took vacation for the holidays. The kids are on their two week break. Camille is riding horses with a group of kids her age. Stefan got his dream come true remote car from Grammie and Grandpa and they got other great gifts that preoccupy their time.
Next comes New Years!