Bangkok is a land full of expats, who have their own traditions and expectations when it comes to Christmas time. My first Christmas in Bangkok, I wrote a post about “Christmas sensory overload” and at times it still feels that way, with the massive trees, light displays that could cause a seizure, and the random “Christmas themes” that whatever marketing department for the building being decorated feels works as Christmassy enough but in all reality I have no clue what they are going for half of the time. For example, at Terminal 21 this year by my house, they had a winter wonderland full of what reminded me of the Travelocity gnome and mushrooms that you would see in a Mario Brothers video game. To top it all off this Christmas, Central World Mall, which normally has the biggest display around, was overrun with astronaut Snoopy (hundreds of them!) and spaceship Santa Claus. Can someone tell me how this works as a Christmas theme? Not that I am to upset about this since Killi is on a total Charlie Brown Christmas and astronaut space theme right now; he loved it. Although Christmas isn’t the same for Thai’s as it is for Westerners they still get into the spirit with the gift giving and partaking in the Christmas activities around town. You can read this article about what some Thai’s think of Christmas… it’s about on par with my expectations.
Thailand does a great job accommodating the need expats have to feel like we are home for Christmas. One activity I would recommend for families to try if you are around next Christmas is the Westin Super Chefs Christmas Baking Classes. They offered three different classes during Saturday in December. They had a Christmas cookie class, Christmas log cakes, and a gingerbread house decorating class. Since I am not a crafty or baking kind of mom, I decided this would be the best way for Killi to have fun with Christmas goodies. No need to live through the embarrassment of a Pinterest fail when you have a class you can attend at the top of your street!
We did the gingerbread house decorating class with Killi’s best friend as our last playdate together before she left on her parent’s next expat assignment to the States. The class started at 10:30am and we were greeted by lovely staff, hot coffee for the adults, juice for the kids, and fresh cookies. The class began with the pastry chef doing a run through of the decorating the house, how to hold the piping bag and all of the particulars. Amazingly enough, both toddlers gave their full attention and were amazed at the end results of the beautifully decorated house.
After the demonstration, we were set loose to decorate our house. Killi enjoyed this and participated for a few seconds but then he discovered the decorations are made of sugar and could be eaten and that was that… I was still able to get him to tell me where he wanted to place his decorations but he was eating them faster than I could get them on the house. Luckily, the Westin staff knew this would happen and had extra Christmas trees and windows and doors for us to use.
Once the house was completed, the class came to an end and the pastry chef and his team took the houses to harden and package them for us to take home. While we were waiting for the houses to set, included in the price of the class is lunch for one child and one adult at their weekend breakfast buffet. We had a fun morning; Killi decorated his first and probably only gingerbread house and was able to make one last Christmas memory with his best friend before she moved. I would say this Christmas in Bangkok was lovely and not too far off from what we could do or see at home.
We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!