This time of year I am always amazed that, far more than the large-scale holiday activities, it is the unexpected moments of quiet joy that embody the feeling of Christmas. Tonight, walking home from work in the early December darkness that settles in even in steamy Bangkok, I found myself caught up in sentimental happiness. There was nothing particularly striking about this evening’s commute, but December is here and with it comes the reminder that there is something to celebrate and much for which to be thankful.
Although the Western-style Christmas decorations look a bit out of place in Thailand, there are dazzling lights flashing away on every street. Thais celebrate their own festive events throughout December, including the birthday of His Majesty the King this weekend (his 84th birthday to be exact – a highly auspicious one, or so I am told) and Constitution Day next weekend. There will be lights and fireworks, events and decorations. And though I recognize it is not all in the name of the holiday I celebrate this month, I am no less drawn in by the shared sense of fun and the community of celebration that surrounds us all.
Whatever December means for you, I hope you too are finding ways to celebrate and catching yourself in moments of quiet joy.