Christmas Magic in Thailand
“Believe in the magic of Christmas”
Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year. It is a time that you can feel anything (maybe you miss someone especially this time of the year, maybe you have to work over this festive period, maybe you don’t feel so ‘chrismassy’ as previous years, maybe you are in hospital or you are going through a difficult time) and that is OK too, it’s a time for togetherness, it’s a time for giving, it’s a time for celebrations and new beginnings.
Christmas mean different things to different people, over the years I have realized it’s not how big your Christmas tree is or how many gifts you got for Christmas. How I see Christmas is – the Christmas trees, a snowman (if you live in a cold country), Christmas carols, ornaments on the tree, traditional meals, Santa Clause, reindeer’s – this are all symbols for Christmas but I think we should not forget that Christmas is about togetherness and we are gifts to each other and that is the most precious gift you can give to anyone.
My favorite Christmas memory is from my childhood, where me and my siblings spent it usually with my grandparents in Wilderness, South-Africa, we had a small Christmas tree but the biggest excitement was when we had to decorate it and on Christmas eve me and my siblings did a play and were singing “Silent night “and other Christmas carols, we wore old sheets and the whole family was watching this play. I will never forget this!
I never thought last year this time that I will be spending Christmas in a total new country and that country is Thailand. Also because the last 12 years I was working in the hotel industry so I never really celebrated Christmas with my family, I made Christmas time festive for everyone else and that gave me joy but now it’s a time for a change and new beginnings. When I realized I am going to spend Christmas in Thailand recently, I didn’t expect anything and I knew it will be different, I thought there will be no Christmas trees, no shiny lights at night, no festive spirit but Thailand has proved me totally wrong and surprised me with a whole other level of festive spirit.
On Christmas eve I had an early dinner dressed in red and black (festive colors why not?) at a local restaurant with two very good friends and had ice cream cake for dessert and then we went for a drive all over the town and went to the clock tower of the town which is sort of the center point of this special town where I have been living for the past 8 months and it was magical, there was shiny lights all over in different shapes, colors and there was even shiny snowflakes (not real ones). Snowflakes are kisses from heaven, well that is at least what I thought the first time I have experienced snow in November 2004 in Germany .
There was this big sign to say happy new year 2018 and that just made me smile. We have parked and took photos almost from every angle, I felt like my inner child came out and that is the best feeling ever. After that we went to a close by shopping center with one massive Christmas tree with a big gold star on the top, the moon was also perfect that evening. It was really a perfect evening.
The next day which was actually the Christmas day, I went to work but it was not a typical “working day” if you know what I mean. Everyone was wearing festive colors even the students, we all wished each other “merry Christmas”. I had to do a short speech just to wish everyone “Merry Christmas” and had to tell them what Christmas is all about. The students made colorful Christmas cards, they did a play and each grade sang a song with a dance on the stage. It was amazing to watch and even though my family is far away during this time, I spent Christmas with my Thai family opening gifts, sing Christmas carols and had lunch with them too.
It was a magical Christmas in Thailand, an experience that I will never forget.
Hi there! My name is Ané du Preez and I am from South-Africa but currently teach and live in Thailand. I am a writer and a solo traveler. I love learning about other cultures and traditions. My interest started when I was only a child and my grandparents shared their travel stories through pictures, stories, and writing. This blog is to share my wonderful adventures with all of you. I’ve been discovering the gems of mother nature and its amazing people. Join me as we venture into the beauty and inspiration that is all around us. I am an advocate for all to live their life to the fullest. To travel is to live!