It’s not the giving or the getting,
It’s the loving.
I bet everyone is excited about the upcoming holidays, Christmas. Who wouldn’t, right? Christmas is coming in a few weeks and I’m being ridiculously excited about it even if Thailand doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Why not? It’s because most of us Thais, about 90% of the country, are Buddhists and so am I. It’s not even a holiday in Thailand but it seems to be a big thing if you have come to Thailand during this time. And why am I even excited? The reason is I will get to be home with my family because it happens to be during my university’s winter break and I’ll be able to freely listen to Christmas songs as loud as I like.
Everyone here has been theoretically taught about Christmas, who Santa Clause is, how and why is it important and even what people traditionally cook for Christmas dinner. As I grow up, Christmas is more like a town decoration and school’s annual festival which, to be honest, I actually like it. I like it how they always keep the town colorful and bright with lights and charmed with new fresh bushes of red flowers and Christmas songs are literally played everywhere. Back in elementary and high school during the Christmas week, the classroom is literally turned into Christmas. Almost every classrooms, especially in the international language buildings, are decorated with sparkly red and green papers, colorful presents with nothing inside are possibly placed everywhere on the shelves and Christmas ornaments are hung on every possible space of the White board. Oh, and in each class especially the international language will assign us homework about Christmas.
Christmas songs, you can call me crazy but I like listening to Christmas songs only during the Christmas season or almost the whole month of December. And, I hate it when it’s being played during other times. I only like it when it’s Christmas. I guess it is because I personally like to think it’s special and special things aren’t always happening. When it becomes an “often thing”, it loses its value and unavoidably enters the boredom. I don’t want that. Christmas song has this spectacular magic that can lighten up my day and have me loving it more and more each year. I don’t want to lose this magic.
I am so thankful for everything that offered me the incredible opportunity to experience Christmas with such an amazing American family and friends in the U.S. five years ago. Back in 2010, the year I had my first genuine Christmas, everyone at school were shocked and stunned when I told them how Thai people don’t normally celebrate Christmas then they all wished me the best Christmas so that I would go back to Thailand with a remarkable memory. I was so spoiled literally by everyone. I still remember and am able to retrieve the feeling I had being so happy that my tears of joy inevitably burst when receiving the wishes and presents from the teachers, friends and yes—my loving host family. I’ve never been woken up in the early morning of the 25th of December before. I’ve never had to open the presents under the Christmas tree. I’ve never been told that the Santa ate the cookie and drank the milk. I’ve never had to read so many cards and eaten so much of orange flavored chocolates. I’ve never had turkey or ham. I’ve never had done a lot of things until that one special day in 2010. The best moment of all is when my host family was paying so much attention at me opening the presents. I remember it clearly they said, “Tam, presents wrappings are for tearing. Just open it.” I personally like to neatly open it up, piece by piece, and keep all the wrappings in protection as well as how I keep all the presents. Seeing them getting annoyed at me makes me happy. Well, I’m crazy and they know it.
Now? My experience never actually stops. My American family sends me Christmas presents every year. They know I don’t normally get to have chocolate chips cookies. They make sure I don’t miss having cookies. They know I don’t like asking for presents. They ask me what I want anyway. They know I don’t tell them what I want. They send it anyway. They know I don’t regularly get holiday’s cards. They make sure I will laugh till my stomach hurts reading their cards. They know I don’t get to have present other than on birthday. They make sure I’ll be excited ripping the Christmas giftwrapping (even if they know I wouldn’t rip it. lol). They know I love them. They make sure I know they love me too.