Friday, 26 December 2014

Five Advantages of Spending Christmas in Thailand

Christmas is an important time of the year for many people. It is the time of the year when people return home to their family and partake in age old christmas traditions. Many expats however will be spending the christmas time in a foreign country away from their families and whilst this may sound a little depressing there are actually a number of advantages. These are my five top advantages of spending christmas time in Thailand. 

1. The Weather
The obvious advantage of spending christmas in a tropical country is the weather. Whilst your friends and family at home in blighty are dealing with the cold temperatures, overcast skies and general dreary conditions you are sunning it up in 30C heat. Head to a beach enjoy the sun, take some pics, send them home and make everyone really jealous!

2. Lack of Stress
Thailand is a buddhist country, it is not christian and for all intensive purposes does not celebrate christmas whatsoever. Whilst you may see a christmas tree in the local department store, it is more of a marketing ploy by the large companies to sell a luxury western ideal. The vast majority of Thai's don't know anything about christmas and have little interest in it. This means that you're not going to be invited to an endless string of christmas get-togethers and you can focus on those who are important to you the most. It also means that instead of having to buy presents for everyone you know, you could just give them a cheap christmas card and a sweet from an assortment box and they'll be over the moon! 

3. Spending time with friends
Christmas is of course a time for family and loved ones. Most expats who decide to remain in the country for the christmas period will surround themselves with their expat friends. It is likely that your group of expat friends is made up of a number of different nationalities. This is a golden opportunity to experience other countries christmas traditions without actually being there yourself. You can take the best of christmas from North America, mix it with the best of Europe, add a southern hemisphere twist and finish it off with a Filipino topping. Multiculturalism at it's best!

4. Skype Technology
The advent of technology has certainly made the world feel like a smaller place. Like most expats I will take the time to Skype with my family at christmas. We usually make the call when everyone is in the family living room together on christmas day. This gives me the opportunity to be with the family as a whole, as well as have individual conversations with each family member in turn. If you spend a decent amount of time on that Skype call you'll still feel very much part of the christmas party and you won't have to deal with sitting through a 2 hour marathon edition on EastEnders! Result!

5. Control Christmas 
Perhaps the best part of spending christmas in a foreign country which is not christian is that you can control christmas 100%. If you're a big fan of christmas you could have a huge bonanza, decorate your house and spread the christmas spirit to everyone around you and they'll love it!. If you are perhaps not so keen on the festive season then you could have a very relaxed christmas time and just take part in the traditions that you want to. If people found out that you didn't have a christmas tree in the UK you'd be seen as a miserable scrooge. If you don't have one here no one thinks anything of it. No one is going to force christmas on you! Want to have a less traditional christmas dinner? Go for it - no one will judge, remember it's only a normal day!

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