Skyping Home for Christmas

Since living the dream life in Southeast Asia it has been hard to recreate the magical Christmases from back home. Christmas is celebrated in Thailand but it just doesn’t feel Christmasy. It drags along without magic, meaning or momentum only to end in lacklustre and a hangover. Tomorrow will be my third Christmas in Thailand.

Giant Santa Manila Philippines Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast Asia CentralWorld Christmas Tree, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast Asia

Early Celebrations

In a Manila mall we sit under bobbles and festive jingles as walking dead mall cops pass between tables. Festivities start earlier than expected this year. Christmas is in full flow before Halloween has ended as we travel in the Christian country of the Philippines. Arriving to Thailand the following week the balconies of skyscrapers which surround my Bangkok condo are lit up with flashing fairy lights. We join the Christmas cheer by touring the Bangkok Christmas Lights to snap photos of oversized, corporate branded ornaments. Where a month remains to Christmas Day excitement fades, balconies cease flashing and life returns to normal.

Mall of Asia Manila, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast Asia Centralworld at Night, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast Asia

Christmas Dinner

Christmas in Thailand is not tradition. As a predominantly Buddhist country the Christmas traditions in Thailand are imported from all over the world. This makes it hard to replicate the Christmas I know. Mum’s cooking, dry turkey, perfect stuffing, Christmas crackers, sherry trifles and mince pies. Just a few missing ingredients. Being ovenless means our only turkey option is from our local western food market. A giant pre-cooked 5kg bird for the two of us. Instead we will treat ourselves to well marbled T Bones with unfamiliar trimmings. Skyping home to family shows the family tree, colourful parcels and tins of chocolates.

Chocolate and Wine, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast Asia Life in Southeast Asia - Christmas in Thailand - Skyping Home for Christmas

The Missing Ingredient

Family is the heart of Christmas. The rest is just decoration. Christmas markets with mum. Dad’s horrendous singing at Church. Reuniting with the friends and relatives which I ignore through the rest of the year. While I have my loved ones here in Bangkok I wish desperately to have them home to celebrate with family in Bangor.

Stalls at La Defense Christmas Market, Paris, France Snow at Bangor West Church, Bangor, Northern Ireland, UKMum and Cat at Christmas Back Home, Bangor, Northern Ireland Christmas Dinner back Home in Bangor, Northern Ireland

Update Christmas Day 2012

Mum’s traditional stew made the perfect lunch after finding oxo cubes and Bisto in the local Foodland. For decorations Tesco (Lotus), for wines and Belgian beers Wine Connection. Downloads of Christmas favourites for entertainment and the cat in her Santa outfit for the perfect Christmas away from home.

Mum's Christmas Stew, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast AsiaChristmas Dinner, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast AsiaChristmas Cat Costume, Christmas in Bangkok and Southeast Asia

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