Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: People, not tinsel or music or gifts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Christmas has always been a somewhat schizophrenic event for me. Coming from a non-religious family, it was always celebrated as a time for the extended family to get together, share food and catch up on developments over the past year, and had absolutely nothing to do with celebrating the birth of Christ.

Nevertheless, my mother is religious in her yearly purchase of a fresh Christmas tree and a liberal supply of presents for our family’s nephews, nieces, cousins and sundry other relatives. The smell of pine wafting through the family home is inextricably linked with Christmas in my mind, and in its absence this year, as I couldn’t make it back home to celebrate, it seems as though Christmas didn’t really happen.

Here in Thailand, while you can note the odd decoration or Christmas-themed webpages, we are blissfully free of the annual juggernaut of Christmas commercialism that permeates all facets of public life in Australia for up to two months before the actual day.

If you are like me, the absence of piped Christmas carols, Santa decorations, advertisements in shops and so on is a cherished respite.

It also highlights what I actually do miss about Christmas. In a word, family. In many words, watching the young kids open their presents with eager anticipation; scoffing slabs of delicious glazed ham and all manner of foods that only ever seem to feature in my family’s diet at this time of year; sitting on the couch chatting with cousins I haven’t seen since last year; a game of backyard cricket or footy; and more often than not, a healthy amount of wine and beer to encourage the Christmas cheer.

It occurs to me that families celebrating Christmas here in Phuket really have it good. They can have all the benefits of spending time with family, sharing gifts, food and conversation, without the attendant commercialism that tends to either exploit or somehow cheapen the long-held social meaning of Christmas.

So to all of you out there who celebrated a tropical yuletide, a happy New Year from everybody here at the Phuket Gazette.

— Mark Knowles

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok26 mins ago

CCSA has yet to begin talks on lifting alcohol ban at Bangkok restaurants

Coronavirus (Covid-19)29 mins ago

Yala enters lockdown today

Thailand1 hour ago

Thai police say they’ve gathered “strong evidence” on transnational drug trade

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Phuket1 hour ago

Indonesian fisherman rescued after 9 days adrift at sea

Thailand2 hours ago

More than 100 cats rescued from owner

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: Cumulative case count exceeds 200,000; provincial totals

Thailand2 hours ago

Thai amulets come to blockchain, blessed by grandmaster of spells and charms

Thailand3 hours ago

Dogs from Thailand and more than 100 countries banned from US due to risk of rabies

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Bangkok elderly can register for vaccine

Thailand4 hours ago

“Bubble and seal” method to contain outbreaks at factories, keep business afloat

Thailand5 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Samui quiet/flights/reopening, Thailand’s botched vaccine roll out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Thai government says vaccine rollout is going “according to plan”

Thailand5 hours ago

Taxi driver attacks woman at bus stop, has a history of violence

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Vaccine registration website for expats back up after data leak

Politics5 hours ago

Thai PM ignores demands to step down, insists he’s going nowhere

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending