WINNER! – 2017 Christmas Photo Challenge.

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Cheers to Keturah Maraska for being the winner to our 2017 Christmas Photo Challenge.

Your gift voucher is on it’s way.

What we liked about your image: 

  • Your composition was spot on in our books. Clear subject, hero and direction.
  • Your colours here are contrasting, warm and joyful.
  • My favourite quality of all has to be the contrast in texture from the prickled background to the smooth wooden ornament so carefully carved out.

Well done you!

With love-

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Note: Keep an eye out for our Valentine’s challenge around the corner.

2017 Christmas Photo Challenge

Happy December everyone! The majority of us are in the swing of the Christmas spirit and NOW always seems like the perfect time to start something, right? We are excited to announce the:

 12 Shots of Christmas Photo Challenge!

This year we are going to do things a little bit differently than in the past, we are going to select a winner from the participants!

This winner will receive an Amazon gift voucher to the value of $50.

To participate you must LIKE and FOLLOW It’s a Colour World on Facebook. Post your images there to be viewed. The image with the highest number of FB likes will be the winner.

We can’t wait to see your fabulous entries!

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RULES:

ELIGIBILITY: All are eligible

CONTEST SPONSOR: It’s a Colourful World (IACW)

CONTEST NAME: 12 shots of Christmas Photo Challenge

CONTEST PERIOD: December 6 – December 31, 2017

ENTRY PERIOD:
Starts December 6, 2017 at 12:01 am ET.
Ends December 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: The Photo Contest images will be announced here on It’s A Colourful World Blog, IACW Facebook page, and IACW Instagram on Saturday, January 13, 2017.

HOW TO ENTER:  Must LIKE and FOLLOW IACW Facebook and FOLLOW the blog. Participants may enter up to 1 image per theme, up to 12 total, by posting on the IACW Facebook.

SELECTION OF WINNERS: Images entered in the IACW Facebook will be judged per the following:

Technical Execution: The intentional use of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, available light, composition, and focus.

Composition: The creative use of positioning, colour, and framing to capture the subject of the theme.

Theme: Creative expression of the designated theme submitted.

The image with the highest number of FB likes will be the winner.

Tie breaking judging panel is made up of IACW designated individuals who will select images using the above criteria.


TERMS OF ENTRY: (a) By participating in this Contest, Contestant warrants that his or her entry and all elements thereof (i) do not infringe or violate the rights of any third party, including but not limited to, copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, logos, contract and licensing rights, rights of publicity or privacy, moral rights, or any other intellectual property rights; (ii) are not subject to any third party agreements for which IACW could be held financially or legally liable; and (iii) do not contain any content that could adversely affect the name, reputation, mission, or goodwill of IACW. Contestant agrees to indemnify IACW against all damages, costs, and attorney’s fees related to any claims or litigation that arises in relation to Contestant’s participation in the Contest.
(b) IACW reserves the right to disqualify any entries that, in IACW’s sole and absolute discretion, (i) include trademarks, logos, or copyrighted material not owned by Contestant or used without permission; (ii) refer to public figures; (iii) contain profanity, pornographic or sexual content, illegal drugs, tobacco, or firearms or weapons, hateful content of any kind, content that promotes violence or harm to another living creature; (iv) promote a political agenda regardless of the political affiliation and regardless of IACW’s treatment of other entries that may or may not promote a political agenda; (v) defame, misrepresent, or contain disparaging remarks about other people or companies; or (vi) contain materials embodying the names, likenesses, photographs or other identifying elements of any person, living or dead, without permission.
(c) Contestants may not submit entries on behalf of any person other than themselves. If contestant is a minor under the age of 18, contestant must enter with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. Entries not submitted in accordance with the instructions provided in the Official Rules shall be disqualified.
(d) The contestant retains the copyright and exclusive possession of all submissions. The contestant will grant to IACW the nontransferable, nonexclusive license to use, with complete attribution, via any medium, the submission for promotional or other purposes as deemed fit by IACW for a period of two years from the closing date of the contest.
(e) IACW reserves the right to disqualify any entry, for any reason, at its sole discretion.
(f) Neither IACW nor any of their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, partners, contractors, subcontractors and each of their respective officers, directors, shareholders, agents and employees, nor any Internet access providers are responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry of information, human error, technical malfunction, lost/delayed data transmission, lost/delayed/misdirected mail, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, line failure of any telephone or other network, computer equipment, software or any combination thereof, inability to access the Contest Website, for problems uploading or downloading any Contest-related materials from the Contest Website, or for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incorrect or incomplete entry.
(g) If for any reason any aspect of this Contest cannot be completed as planned, including by reason of infection by computer virus, network failure, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any cause beyond the control of IACW which corrupts or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of this Contest, IACW may in its sole discretion cancel, terminate, modify or suspend this Contest, or invalidate any affected submissions.
(h) For purposes of these Official Rules, receipt of Contest Entries occurs when posted to the FB page. Any entry information collected from the Contest may be recorded by IACW for further promotional or marketing purposes.
(i) IACW may, in its sole discretion, disqualify any submissions, and prohibit further participation in this Contest by, any person who tampers with or benefits from any tampering with the submission process or with the operation of this Contest or acts in violation of these terms and conditions, acts in a disruptive manner or acts with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS: (a) IACW reserves the right to use any method or medium that IACW deems fit at its sole and absolute discretion for the purpose of announcing and contacting the Contest winners.
(b) Upon request, Contest winners will be required to provide their contact details and photo ID proof and any other details deemed necessary and relevant by IACW at its discretion, within three working days upon receiving the request/notification from IACW
(c) IACW reserves the right to forfeit prizes for any Contest winner who does not provide the required verification upon receiving the request/notification from IACW.
PRIZES: (a) Any and all guarantees and warranties for prize is subject to the manufacturer’s terms and conditions, and winner agrees to look solely to such manufacturer for any such warranty or guarantee claim.
(b) IACW does not guarantee or make any representations or warranties regarding the quality, performance, features or capabilities/utility of the prizes offered to the winners under the contest and cannot be held responsible and liable in this connection.
(c) Prizes are non-transferable.
(d) Prizes offered on a no exchange, no refund basis.
(e) Prize recipients consent to IACW using his/her name and image in any promotional material.

Kicking off Christmas in Jerusalem

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This past weekend we were invited to a German Christmas Market held at a church in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was a perfect day and start to our Christmas season, both surreal and totally normal at the same time. Much like expat life.  We drank fantastic cups of steaming gluhwien while the children ate German waffles and the moms eyed the tables covered in crafts and decorations.  All the while, the seemingly unaware market was surrounded by ancient churches, mosques, and temples, stone streets older than anything in the United States, and both old and new marks of a history of tension and religious conflict.

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Living in Israel does have a surreal affect on you, some days you could be anywhere in the world and others you are in THE Holy Land, eek! If I am being honest, the city of Jerusalem is not my favorite place in the country. The tension you feel there is palpable and many warnings about potential unrest make me want to run to the hills surrounding the Sea of Galilee. That said, in the last month I have made the 1.5 hour trip to the holiest place on earth twice, and both times were amazing and fulfilling adventures. I’d say Jru is growing on me, especially when the Christmas spirit is all around you and you’re with some of your favorite people in the country!

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Since it was a rather last minute decision to attend the market, we were unprepared with only a few shekels in hand. Thus, I wasn’t able to splurge on much. However, I did come across a Palestinian artist who was on a mission for peace and unity through her art. My creative heart was inspired by her project and I purchased two sketches, one of Bethlehem and one of Jerusalem, and a painted sketch on a postcard of some of the famous architecture from around Israel.  The whole interaction with the artist made me excited for my own shop this coming weekend.

The kids were less than impressed with the vendors and were waiting patiently for Der Weihnachtsmann, aka Father Christmas, aka Santa, to arrive. They sang Jingle Bells as they waited and finally he appeared ringing a bell and carrying a large sack full of chocolate Santas for each of the children. It was adorable how they sat and listened to him tell his story in German. Even though they couldn’t understand any of it, the heart of the story was clear.

Afterward our party of almost 30 departed and 21 of us attempted to find a place to eat together at 5:00pm on Shabbat (Sabbath) in a highly religious city. Which means the majority of places were closed for another 2 hours. We finally discovered an Irish Pub and it was perfect for our group, including our horde of children hopped up on chocolate.

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It truly was the perfect way to kick off our December –  loosely planned, a bit chaotic, full of joy, and drenched in the Christmas spirit. When you live an expat life, at Christmas time you sacrifice a lot of your traditions, but it can lead to a richer and deeper connection to the season and your family. I hope those of you far from home find your village to celebrate with and make the most of the holiday season as you add new traditions and memories to your collection.

Happy December,

kdg

The Christmas Decoration Debate!

So when exactly is it ‘PC’ to start putting up Christmas Decorations? When I was a child, my mom made us wait until December 15th before putting up the tree and then she made us wait until January 15th before taking it down. I never could quite understand this and she never quite explained it either.

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Now it has become a tradition in my household to wait for the first week of December to set up the tree and decor, and pull everything down on the first weekend into the new year. Last year I managed to escape the madness slightly. You see, we went home for Christmas and I was able to convince my kids, 6yr, 4yr, 2.5yr at the time, that if we put the tree up in Kuwait, then all the presents will end up there on Christmas morning and we’ll be in SA with none, so they wonderfully agreed to only have one tree up, the one in SA, which saved me soooooooo much prepping, unpacking, cleaning and packing up.

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Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, it’s my favourite time of the year and very special to our family, but I also enjoyed the opportunity to skip out on a little extra holiday work. Guilty!

And far be it for me to judge on what is too early or too late but I most certainly had a bit of a giggle when my sister-in-law posted that her Christmas decor was going up on November 1st. And just a week ago my friend announced that Christmas had thrown up in her house. My American friends argue that you need to get through Thanksgiving first. It really did get me thinking about when exactly is the ‘right’ time to set up and take down.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter, but there’s no denying that this is a special time of year. For Christians, Christmas is centered around the birth and life of Christ and is celebrated among loved ones. For non-Christians it’s simply a time to cherish those around you. You can feel the love in the air, and you can feel the power of that love with a tangible strength in the echoes of choirs and carols singers.

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Many people ask me what Christmas is like in Kuwait. Well, I can tell you that yes, they do sell trees, and yes, they have some lovely decorations around. It does lack a little bit of the magic that can only come from those big Christmas afternoons with the whole extended family, but at the end of the day Christmas in any country is what YOU make it. What’s in YOUR heart will be revealed in the kind of Christmas you experience.

I will post again about Christmas in December, when our tree goes up, and about the  magical little gems I find at the stores.

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But I’m curious, which of you are? The ‘wait as long as you can before putting up the tree’ like me, or the ‘is October to early to set up’, do let us know in the comments below.

Happy to kick off the Holiday posts 🙂

la

 

Side Note: Keeping with the American line, Katie’s tradition is to start Christmas songs the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) and decorate that Saturday – So we know where she stands. HoHoHo!