It is Christmas in Chiang Mai, and it certainly feels much different then any Christmas back home. It’s sunny, albeit pretty cold for Thailand. When I drive my motorbike to work in the morning, I am genuinely cold and longing for a my warm fleeces that are back in Washington. My last day of work before the break was yesterday, and I spent the last couple of days teaching my kids about Christmas. We sung Christmas songs, and I even gave in to letting them sing ‘Let it Go’ several times just because it was adorable. The only line they know is ‘let it go’ but the girls in the class sing it with passion.
We also made snowmen. I’m sure most of the kids in class have never seen snow before in real life, but they loved sticking the cotton balls onto the paper. It was a bit messier then I had anticipated, with one of my classes quickly becoming a race to see who could steal the most cotton balls from Teacher and then stick them all over their paper. At least I didn’t do glitter Christmas cards, which had been my original idea.
On Christmas Eve, my school had a Christmas Parade. Parades are a big deal at Dara Academy, and huge amounts of money are poured into them to make them a success. The students all have elaborate costumes, and there were even kids dressed as Shepherds, leading Mary and baby Jesus. Some of the teachers throw out candy, and kids turn into madmen, practically mauling each other for that last chocolate.
We also had a class Christmas party, which quickly disintegrated into the mayhem and chaos that children love but adults hate. As the children ran around in a sugar fueled high, I thanked my blessings that it was my last day at work and I was leaving for the beach the day after. I love my job, but a vacation was much needed. My first Christmas away from home has definitely been kind of hard, but it will feel much better sipping a margarita on the beach. Here we come Krabi!