Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year! Late getting it out but this is what we did for the holiday season!
Hot, humid, and sweaty. Where is the cold still air and the high mountain breeze. The still and frozen landscape picture after a snow fall through out the night. The time off for families to come together and Christmas Eve treats and sweets and hot chocolate by the fire place.
The feel of Christmas is hard to come by in Thailand. It’s not a national holiday so you must work through the holiday. Thailand is not totally void of Christmas. The shopping malls bring out the decorations and some Christmas candy. Our school hosted a Christmas party for the students. But to really get into the spirit you must go looking for it.
How did we find Christmas in Thailand.
1) Caroling with the local Korean Church. We got an invite to go caroling so we went. Didn’t know to many people but had met a few before. We were the only token foreigners that had come. 5 families to go caroling to, they told us. This should be fun and quick. Almost 5 hours later and we still have 3 more families to visit. We quickly learned that caroling in Thailand mixes the good old singing songs at family doors but also Thai tradition of inviting guest into your home for some fruit and drinks. Each visit consisted of 4 or 5 songs and 30 min talking and treats with the family. Being foreign Christians we were asked to pray over a home and give inspiring Christmas thoughts.
2) Attending the Nutcracker performed by the local kids ballet studio. Being dancers and knowing we are first, in Thailand, and second, it’s done by a kids and teenagers dance studio, we did not come with high expectations but a good short rendition of the Nutcracker. We were not prepared for what we were to see. It was a cultural train wreck. Drosselmeyer was a Thai Michael Jackson reincarnated. More than half of the music was not from the Nutcracker. They added a Bollywood dance and the Spanish dance was done to ballroom Paso Doble music. All in all it was very fun to watch and the little Thai dancers were cute in there tutus.
3) Baked a lot of cookies and sweets and made hors d’oeuvres. Even with all the hassle it is to bake and cook western food it was fun. We went on a big shopping trip and came back with bags of flower, chocolate, baking powder, peanut butter, sugar, ginger, and 2 pounds of butter. Over two days we made, shortbread cookies, peanut butter cookies, gingerbread snap cookies, and almond roca bars. Along with bread and two dips, deviled eggs, and pickles. All Christmas Eve was a great hors d’oeuvre feast in the office at work.
4) Home made decorations. Took it to hart to fill our Thai home with some homemade Christmas decorations. got the color paper out and went to work. After several cramped thumbs and a paper cuts came out with a dozen white snow flakes. Some paper stars for our 3 foot Christmas tree and our make shift winter wonderland landscape of a pin wood forest. Although simple it did bring some Christmas cheer to the home.