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Dec
23

Merry Un-Christmas

Today we are wrapping our very few, small presents with bits of scrap paper we have drawn on or made lists on.  The kids have been working hard on a Lego Christmas tree and clay figurines.  We danced around in our hotel room to a few Christmas Carols before bed last night.  Tonight we will watch our first Christmas movie of the year.

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We have been exposed to very little Christmas commercialism this year.  Chiang Mai certainly had more than Koh Phangan.  In the big city of Chiang Mai we got our pictures taken with a Thai Santa, saw Christmas decorations in the mall, and heard Christmas carols at Starbucks.  Even that was extremely tame to what we would have experienced back home where you really can’t go anywhere for the entire month of December without hearing Christmas music and seeing decorations everywhere.

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Here, on this island in Southern Thailand, the Christmas decorations are blown up balloons, some Merry Christmas signs, and a very tropical looking pine tree decorated sparsely in decorations.

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Full disclosure:  I am not a fan of Christmas.  Sure, I enjoy getting together with family. I love that.  And the food.  The food, the food, the food.  Yes.  But almost everything else I could leave behind.  I HATE the commercialism of the holiday. The pressure of presents, both giving and receiving.  The mounds of garbage that go out to the curb on boxing day.  I dislike the decorations as I feel they are a waste of both money and resources. I dislike the lights as they are a waste of energy.  My husband thinks I am a Scrooge but I just can’t get behind a holiday of wastefulness.

In some ways we are able to create our own family traditions and do our best to keep the commercialism out of our Christmas but of course it is impossible to avoid entirely when our lives are intertwined with the greater community.  And that is why I so enjoy spending Christmas overseas.  We are entirely able to make our own tradition. To make our Lego Christmas trees.  To choose small presents that will need to fit into our backpacks. And to make the day about doing something special with our family (we are hoping this storm we have found ourselves in for the last week will soon pass and we can go snorkelling for Christmas day.)

How about you?  Do you love Christmas?  Do you enjoy making your own Christmas traditions?

 

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3 comments

  1. Sheralyn says:

    I’m with you on the whole dislike of the pressure that is often involved with giving and receiving gifts. With some people, you feel like you have to be soooo careful to give just the right thing or else you will offend them, and I can’t stand that. But I love giving gifts if it’s sure to be appreciated, if they will assume that I did my best to get them something they would like, and not have it analyzed to death. But of course, there are limits – I don’t like the tendency in our culture to way overdo the gift thing and end up with so much waste.

    That being said, this is our first year away for Christmas, and we’re feeling our way through, trying to start our own traditions. It’ll be different, but still fun. For me, nothing will ever be as good as being home with our families, and as you say, the FOOD… OMG, love the food back home for Christmas so much lol But I think we’ll make it work.

    We’re heading out for dinner tonight, will buy ourselves some treats to eat for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (I figure if I can’t gorge myself on homemade Christmas baking, gorging on yummy treats from here that I can’t get at home is a pretty good alternative), and will head out for a turkey dinner on Christmas Day. 🙂

    Have a Merry Christmas!!! 🙂

    1. worldschooled says:

      Merry Christmas to you too Sheralyn! Enjoy your adventure!

  2. Laura Southward says:

    I know it is a little late to be making comments on the festive season but as I was asking you earlier about ideas for Christmas 2015 I thought it would be ok! I am a bit of a Christmas junkie myself – I love the carols and decorations and lights but am totally with you on hating the overspend and the rubbish created by it. This year (it was a big christmas with my extended family) I felt slightly ill after it was all over – and not because I over ate! In the last few years I have tried (with varying degrees of success!) to introduce homemade gifts into my repertoire and to buy local and handmade where I can rather than from the big chain stores. The Christmas’s where I have succeeded have been much more pleasant for me and I would like to try and stretch myself to make this happen where I can in future. Christmas in SE Asia in 2015 will certainly be a different kind of Christmas! We are hoping to give “experiences” rather than gifts to a large extent as like you trying to fit presents into small pack space will be tricky! It sounds like you are now having a fabulous community time with your friends in Southern Thailand – it sounds wonderful, keep up the inspiring blog, I love it!

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