Monday, December 23, 2013

a happy holiday.

It’s strange to celebrate a Christian holiday in a Buddhist country. There are enough expats here and I think western culture has crept in everywhere generally that they’ve made some concessions but it’s really just in name only. The mall has some decorations up; a tree, some lights, even some snow. And Santa’s face is recognized by many of the kids but there is no mention of Christ or the true meaning of Christmas at all. And none of the goings-on that you get in the US happen here. There aren’t concerts and endless holiday parties, no goodie exchanges or tv specials or 24-7 Christmas carols on the radio to remind you at every turn.

I’ve got my 1000+ songs on itunes that I’ve been listening to non-stop for a couple of weeks which has been awesome but without all the other trappings it sort of feels like I’m cheating and listening to it all in September. Instead it’s just a few days away.

We did have a party at school and they went all out. Each class performed a song/dance, the older kids put on a short play, and there were the ubiquitous carnival games and costumes. There was also a church Christmas program which was very low-key compared to what I’m used to. And after many delays and headaches my sister will be in town this week to do some traveling with me so we’ll spend the holiday together, which will be great, but we’ll be at the beach. (Also great, but nothing resembling a typical Christmas.) I’m missing the snow and hot chocolate, the lights, the gift exchanges, the concerts and performances, the cheesy holiday movies, and am homesick in a way I never have been before. I’ve been away from home for the holidays before but never been away from the holiday for the holidays.

So, drink some eggnog, go caroling and think of me. And I promise I’ll think of you while I’m snorkeling and drinking my fresh coconut juice! Happy Holidays from Thailand and I'll see you in 2014!

decor at the mall
getting ready to dance

Santa comes to the school party
my co-teachers and a mischievous elf

1 comment:

  1. I'll trade you! I don't care for snow or cold weather and could easily do w/o hot chocolate if it meant being on a warm beach this week! Still, I know what you mean. I was in the Middle East for two Christmases and it was strange not to have all the ceremony and public hype around it that we have in the US. Your kids in their elf outfits are TOO CUTE! Have a very Merry Christmas with your sister and soak in some sun for me!