This is the first Christmas we’ve been away from home, which means it is also the first Christmas we’ve spent in a warm place. Forecast for Chiang Mai for Christmas Day: 86 and sunny. Forecast for Pittsburgh: 29 and snow showers.
Christmas is the one day where we’d rather be in the cold. This year, there’s no Christmas cookies; no decorating the tree; no family get-togethers; no 24 hours of The Christmas Story; and no presents for Fabulous on Christmas morning. Every year, I start the holiday season off by playing my favorite Christmas album, A Very Special Christmas. It is missing from our ITunes collection and I can’t find it on the internet. It’s just not the holidays without the Pointer Sisters pointing out, Whoa! Here we go! Another year gone by!
Yet, this holiday season has not been as different as we would have guessed. We saw Christmas decorations before Halloween. We went Christmas shopping and heard the same Christmas tunes, over and over. We saw lots of twinkling lights and there’s been Christmas trees in the lobbies of most of the places we’ve stayed in December. Santa even knew where to find us, even though we don’t have a chimney and didn’t put cookies and milk out for him and carrots out for Rudolph. Courtesy of Santa, we’re staying in some fancier digs tonight and tomorrow and may even treat ourselves to dinner at a real restaurant that isn’t on the side of the road. We plan to finally watch Bad Santa while lounging on our giant bed with multiple pillows (what luxury!) We even got to watch our first Steelers game of the season today – for the win, nonetheless. Thanks, Santa!
Turns out that even though Thailand is 95% Buddhist, there are signs of Christmas everywhere. Even more so than the occasional Christians or the abundance of ex-pats, I’m guessing that Christmas is popular here because Thais love any type of celebration. Yep, Christmas in Thailand isn’t half bad, even though our thoughts will be in Pittsburgh. We wish everyone, wherever you are in the world, a very Merry Christmas. FedEx has your presents, so you’ll have to just enjoy scenes from the holidays in Thailand instead: