This is my tenth consecutive Christmas in Thailand and they keep getting better. While there were a few stray decorated trees to be seen during my first few holidays here, each year seems to bring more and more signs of Yuletide spirit. The shopping mall where I work has slowly been adding decorations ever since the giant tree went up outside just before Halloween. As I strolled through the mall following my Christmas Eve classes, I saw plenty of images of Santa Claus and Christmas trees with enough Buddhist symbols to remind one exactly where you are. My favorite Thai variation is that instead of Mrs. Clause, we have “Santy” who seems to be Santa’s mia noi (mistress).
There are two photo albums after the break – the first illustrates my school’s holiday party this past weekend while the second features photos shot around the mall last night.