It’s Christmas?

Oh hey, I guess it’s December 25th today.

By western standards, that means it’s Christmas.

By Britta living in a primarily Buddhist country standards–it means it’s just another day. As in, oh hey, I work today!

Tis the season to be jolly?

Sure doesn’t feel like it! For someone who’s used to spending the holidays in a frigid climate, I can’t grasp my head around the fact that it’s December…the holiday season…that it’s almost the new year.

It all feels weird and I’m okay with that…because lately, in the last couple years, I’ve been finding the holiday season more stressful than anything. Because I love this country and don’t want to be anywhere else in the world.

Most Thais view Christmas as a western curiosity–so yes, we are having Christmas festivities at school today, and yes, there are decorations here and there (by here and there, I mean primarily at Tesco). But it feels different. It doesn’t have the same meaning here.

In Thailand, I’ll be celebrating Christmas (and Hanukkah, even though that ended a few weeks ago) with some of TESOL friends. That said, it WILL be different because it IS different. This is my first Christmas away from home, away from my family, and away from SNOW (or at least cold, since last Christmas wasn’t even white).

I’m okay with all of this because it’s one more part of my adventure. I mean, really–Christmas in Thailand? If you would have told me last Christmas that I would be across the world teaching English in a primary school in Central Thailand ON CHRISTMAS DAY–I’d of said, “no way!” It’s funny the way life works out, where our journeys’ take us. As for me, I couldn’t be more grateful that my journey brought me here.

Merry Christmas from Thailand! Wherever you are in the world–whether you celebrate Christmas or not–may your day be filled with light and joy.


A friend and I stopped at a Starbucks in Bangkok a couple weeks ago…so many holiday decorations=SO STRANGE




24 Replies to “It’s Christmas?”

  1. You know, Christmas doesn’t mean a lot to me sentimentally, despite growing up with the holiday and loving it when I was young. After about age 16 I sort of turned into a Scrooge. To me, Christmas is kinda just another day. I love Halloween and I love New Year’s–but Christmas doesn’t do it for me.


    1. I’m the exact opposite–I’m pretty indifferent to New Years, though it is a good excuse to have a party…and I really, really could care less for Halloween. I don’t understand the point of it at all. Christmas, though…even though I’m not religious at all, I love how bright and cheerful everything becomes, especially in the midst of the cold winter months (well, back in Minnesota, at least—definitely not cold in Thailand!). I like that Christmas is a time to reflect and be thankful for family and friends. But…to each there own! We can’t all like the same things!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hear you on the stress of the season! This year, my husband and I bought one present apiece for the boys and gave the older one a “certificate” for the newest season of his favorite show. Each got a little stocking full of chocolate. The kids were both delighted, and we were/are able to give a much more important gift: unhurried, unstressed attention undiminished by any holiday anxiety. YES. And merry Christmas!


  3. Merry Christmas Britta! I’m so glad to read your news and to know that you’re celebrating today with your new TESOL friends 😉 I’m with family in New Jersey and it’s 65 degrees!! How strange but I love this warm weather!
    Have an amazing Christmas and fabulous 2016! You’re exactly in the place you’re supposed to be on your adventure called LIFE:)!


    1. Thank you so much, Lia! I had such a lovely day with friends on Saturday. We went ice skating (you may have seen that Instagram picture) and explored some more of the city at night. It was a Christmas to remember!

      I do hope you had an amazing Christmas, too! It’s very warm in the Midwest, too. My parents and brother went to my aunt and uncles house in Illinois for Christmas and they went on a hike and everything on Christmas Eve!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like you spent a very interesting and unique Christmas in Thailand! My holiday was relaxing and quiet … Plus indeed the warmer weather is an added bonus! I’m glad your family enjoyed it too! Big hugs to you from NYC 🙂


  4. Merry Christmas, Britta. As someone pointed out above, Christmas is starting to lose its magic for me. I enjoy the decorations and gaiety, but there is a consensus among people I know that the spirit of Christmas is taking a leave of absence. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas at all. I’m not sure if it’s the unusually warm weather, or the fact that people don’t seem to be celebrating holidays anymore, or just the dampening of our cheer by recent tragedies, but Christmas felt like just another day. Maybe we should borrow little kids to bring some cheer into the season.


    1. I certainly felt the Christmas cheer on Christmas day. Even though Thailand is a Buddhist country, we still had festivities at school. I had gate duty in the morning (where we welcome the students to school at the beginning of the day) and seeing all the children come in with Santa hats and reindeer headbands was so fun. It has a very different meaning here because of the lack of religious association, but it still was a day for celebration and thankfulness.

      In fact, I found the lack of Christmas here made the holiday itself so much merrier. There was so much less stress. One of my most memorable moments was going ice skating with my friends in Bangkok on Saturday (in a mall…it’s like, 95 degrees here). There was Christmas music playing at the rink and as I was stumbling around on my ice skates (I haven’t skated in probably five years…it was a struggle) with my friends by my side, I felt so calm and content and merry. The pressure to get people presents and prepare a perfect meal and have a perfect tree were all absent here–and I felt like I could enjoy Christmas in it’s most simplistic form–as a day to be spend with people you love and be thankful for this life we have. That’s what Christmas means to me at least, given that I’m not particularly religious, and it was probably the best Christmas of my life.


  5. Merry (belated) Christmas Britta! I’m sure this will be one of your memorable holidays. Christmas is my most favorite time of the year but with us doing this travel nurse thing, I guess the timing just wasn’t right and then we went away on a vacation so when we got home, there wasn’t any time to put up the tree and decors inside our home. Good thing hubby decided to put up a few lights outside to bring some Christmas cheer. But I think its great that you get to experience Christmas in another country and culture. Enjoy the rest of your holidays!


    1. Thank you, Belle! Hope you had a Merry Christmas, too!

      This was probably one of the best Christmases of my life. So many wonderful memories from celebrating with the kids at school and with my friends in Bangkok this weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Im glad to hear that Britta. This year Christmas to me appears different from our usual. Maybe because of this travel nursing thing we are doing that we have to adjust to so many things and then readjust now that we are back home. I’ve been funky lately but no worries. I’m quite positive for the coming year to come. 🙂


  6. Merry (belated) Christmas!! How strange, but how cool that life has lead you here 🙂
    Can’t even begin to imagine not seeing Christmas decorations absolutely everywhere from November onwards… Even my ward is plastered in decorations and we have about five different Christmas trees on just one floor alone xD


    1. It is so cool! This is probably one of the best Christmases of my life. Hope you had a fantastic Christmas, too, Mandii.

      Oh, I think not having everything plastered everywhere made this Christmas so much more meaningful. I had two days of Christmas–Christmas day at school where I celebrated with the students, and the day after Christmas in Bangkok with my friends–and I loved it. Christmas comes but once a year, but with western advertising, it is everywhere starting even before Halloween these days–and I just feel like it loses its “oomph” that way. Having two days where I really embraced Christmas made it so much better. I will never forget Christmas 2015!


      1. I’m so happy for you!! And it’s too true, it’s so in your face for so long nowadays it was a bit anti-climactic when it came to the actual Christmas Day. I had a lovely Christmas, was very simple and included working night shift, but was still nice. Glad it was a Christmas to remember for you though!!


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