9 ways to get you in the Christmas mood...when you live in the desert

Incase you're still not feeling it

Christmas Summer

It’s not always easy to get in the holiday spirit when you live in a big city in the middle of a desert, where the average winter temperature is equal to that of chestnuts being roasted on an open fire. If you find yourself struggling to muster some mulled-mojo, here's a few suggestions to help get you in the mood...

9. Read the menus of countless Christmas brunches...

Gluttony, is without question, the core sin of Christmas. It’s more than a sin though, it’s a mandated right. And it's justified with promises about shifting the extra padding with a renewed commitment to the gym or running track in January. And what better way to celebrate gluttony, than with a brunch? Santa didn't get to be his Ruben-esque, plus-sized fabulous self without going up for seconds in a buffet situation, now did he?

Remember: brunches at Christmas are even more fun than regular brunches, because at Christmas there is always a chance you’ll get one of those mini screwdriver sets in the crackers, the only tools in the known universe that can be used to repair broken sunglasses. 

Check out The Ultimate Guide To Christmas Day Brunches In Dubai here.

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Put on your roomiest pair of trousers, Dubai, it's Christmas brunch!

8. Cover everything in fake snow...

Barring some pretty freak weather, and by freak we mean: “hang on, is this one of those things Nostradamus was talking about?” levels of WTF? We are, alas, unlikely to be inundated with any of that magical iced watery stuff that kinda makes the holiday season. Solution: turn up the air con, and spray that snow-in-a-can-stuff everywhere, spray it three-quarters of the way over every glass surface in your house, spray it so much that the fumes take you away to a magical place, inhabited by dancing snowmen and perennial winter, a place where your ice-conjuring prowess will be truly appreciated.


Using artificial snow...this is about the biggest Olaf you can build

7. Visit the big man himself...

No, not Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Although you can visit him too if you want to. We mean good old Father C. He spreads his time suspiciously well across the various malls in the UAE (nay, the world). And then there's the festive markets, fairs, tree-lighting ceremonies, gingerbread houses and grottos, set up especially to celebrate the leisurely stroll towards December 25, where Santa seems to be making an appearance too. In fact, if you haven't actually seen a santa in Dubai yet...you probably need to open your eyes, now and again.

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A seat on St. Nick's lap can indeed be a harrowing experience

6. Pop on a Christmas jumper...

Ahhhh Christmas jumpers. Think back to August, when the very idea of pulling a thick sheet of wool onto your torso was as welcome as the in-laws coming to spend the whole summer with you. And now we can't get enough of the silly seasonal sweaters. Wear them with pride. Wear them like those disclaimers on the barricades in front of construction sites down on JBR Walk: please be patient; you're working on enhancing the experience for everyone else.

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You can blame Bridget Jones' dashing Darcy for reviving the appeal of the hideous Christmas jumper. Not that we're complaining...

5. Eat turkey...

Nothing gives your tastebuds a bathe in tinselly-nostalgia like a few tranches of oven-roasted gobble-gobble bird. A meat that's eaten with earnest only once a year. Why? Well it’s a bit paltry for poultry isn’t it? So dry, a minimum of four ladles of gravy are required for each mouthful. However, there is an upside: it will happily feed a family of 10 for the initial meal, and then left over cold-cut based snacks up until the end of next November. So come all ye faithful, it’s time to toss Tiny Tim that shiny silver sixpence and ask him to fetch you the biggest turkey in the store. Or get it delivered.

Jabba Turkey

This is so totally relevant right now

4. Do a good deed...

We all know Christmas is all about getting that amazing present you've been dreaming about since September...right? WRONG! The holiday season is a time for giving, dudes! A time to remember those less fortunate than ourselves, and if you would like to give something - whether it be time or money or whatever you can spare to an excellent cause – the good news is there are so many ways to do it in the UAE. You can seek out individual projects and organisations that have special meaning to you, or for some inspiration head to www.volunteerindubai.com – and spread a bit of charitable joy this festive season.

Pay  It  Forward

3. Binge watch Christmas movies...

Everyone has a favourite Christmas movie, everyone. Even the Grinch, although the Grinch’s favourite Christmas movie is probably ‘The Grinch’. The Palm D’Or prize jury is still out as to whether the Die Hard movies qualify as Christmas flicks. Our favourite Christmas movie is actually ‘Love Actually’ actually, which is also a questionable entry to the category. But it doesn’t matter. If it invokes within you, the same cosy Crimbo joy as this whole list is supposed to, then isn't that enough? 

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Too bad Netflix isn't coming to the UAE till late 2016

2. Turn your home into a grotto...

We've never really liked the word grotto. It sounds like a word an Australian might give to a spoiled hankie. But, that being said, 90% of your Christmas spirit comes from the environment you build for yourself. Outside ambient temperatures are non-negotiable. Build your own winter wonderland inside your very home. Kitsch is key, ask yourself "how would the eponymous Elf, from the Will Ferrell Christmas movie classic, deck these particular halls?" Then multiply it tenfold. You want so much glitter and tinsel, that the collective reflective property is greater than the Allen Telescope Array.

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Remember, folks, more is more!

1. Visit Ski Dubai...

There’s an old proverb about mountains not moving.  And whilst in bygone years it was fair to assume that we would probably have to make our own way to said mountain, rather than expecting the mountain to come to us. Today we have the engineering wizardry of the Majid Al Futtaim Group. An inside ski slope, complete with an alpine style cafe on ‘the cold side’, which serves fantastic hot chocolate; a delicious shortcut to those inside warm fuzzies. The apres ski bar, perhaps unsurprisingly called: ‘Apres’, has adult beverage varieties of winter warmers and spectacular pizzas. And whilst pizzas aren’t Christmassy, they are pizzas, and that’s all the pizza we need to pizza. 

It is a truly incredible thing that we live in a desert that holds within it a shopping mall, which in turn plays host to an inside ski resort, with a black run. If sitting in a cafe in front of this man-made marvel, sipping from a mug chock-full of marshmallows, standing up to begin a rousing Christmas carol medley, cannot shock and awe you in to holiday cheer, then you, sir, are beyond the help of a simple list. You need an immediate 'humbug-ectomy' and to be visited by at least three of the following ghosts: The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, Banquo, and the Ghost of Christmas Future...now Sponsored by Expo 2020.

Snow  Park

This may be the one time of year where a visit to Ski Dubai is in order

Written By

Miles Buckeridge