Happy Holidays from Thailand

One of the things that I absolutely love about the Thai people is their love of celebration. The majority of them are Buddhist, and they will look for any opportunity to have a celebration. They have many traditional holidays that they observe, and they still adopt all of the other holidays around the world and celebrate those as well.

They don’t always reach the same level of excitement that they have in other places in the world, and Christmas is one such holiday. The malls are all decked out with holiday gear, and the night sky is lit up with the twinkling lights, especially when you get to the city centers, but the whole country does not shut down on Christmas day. It is just another day for them.

My students were still excited to wake up on Christmas morning and receive presents, and they all wanted to listen to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album. I don’t know why, out of all the Christmas albums ever made, this is the one that captured the country’s heartstrings, but I have heard it a little too much the last couple of weeks.

But after the morning festivities, it is life back to normal, and then they gear up for the next holiday only a couple of days away. It is always cause to be happy and get together with family and friends. It is part of the reason that there are so many smiles on the faces of people out here.

I hope today gives you the smile that the country is able to find, and you are able to spend it with family and friends, whether face to face or safely over Zoom. And I wish you all the happiest of holidays whichever ones you may observe.

A Toast to the End of the Semester

It is now time to put the books away
To celebrate the semester’s ending.
We have emerged clean from the learning fray
And we can work on our spirit’s mending.
So I open this bottle of champagne
And take for myself only the first taste.
There will be no need for me to explain
That the rest of it should not go to waste.
I’ll leave it here at the base of your feet.
Consider it a humble offering
That I hope you will find time to complete
When you finish the book you are reading.
I will check back with you after the break,
Hoping, eventually, the drink you’ll take.