Christmas is Coming: An Essay

From the three of us at And Three To Go-2

It’s getting closer and closer…. Christmas!  To some of you, this may be really exciting, others may feel even more stressed out, and some may feel ambivalent. I am always a little bit of each.

Now that we live in Thailand, it takes even more of an effort to make Christmas special. Being a primarily Buddhist country, Christmas seems to be simply an opportunity to sell more things at the mall here. Of course, there are Christians here as well, but to the Thai Christians I have met and spoken to here see Christmas as a day to go to church. Which actually seems like the most appropriate way to celebrate it if you believe it is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Chad and I are Christian and always teach Z that Christmas is Jesus birthday, but we also have a (fake) Christmas tree and stockings that get filled by “Santa Claus” on Christmas eve night.

Christmas time is always the hardest for me to be away from my family. I miss the monkey bread that my Auntie makes, and the Baileys/Kahlua that my sister and I would always hide in our morning coffee (after we were 21 years old of course!). I miss the silly group gifts from my dad: hulk hands for all the guys in the family makes  a smashing good time, hahah… see what I did there? I miss eating too much crap food and trying to stuff in a yummy dinner after that.

Most of all I miss the feeling that I am spending the holiday season with people who know me. I mean, people who know all my good, bad, and embarrassing times. From my whole life, which is a lot of embarrassing and funny stories to be told!  I love the fact that my family knows me and can make fun of me for being scared poopless of a singing mermaid doll when I was 12 years old (the song still creeps me out). And I love hearing their laughter at the retelling of family stories that we tell over and over again.

Chad and I work hard to have this type of Christmas for us three here. We strive to make special memories with Z and try to spend time as a family on Christmas. Last year, we mistakenly joined some friends at a very overpriced brunch at one of the resorts here in Phuket and it felt like just another day. It was stressful and we ended up watching Z play with friends and barely saw her at all.

This year we will probably just hang out together and play with our new stuff for the day. Well, until dinner time because there is no way I am cooking on Christmas, that’s what moms do… oh wait, I meant what my Mom does. Ha!

This upcoming Monday I will be sharing how we started off our holiday season here in Thailand with pictures! What does that really mean? It means badly lit pictures of fake tree decorating and a really cute toddler in a Santa hat, and maybe even some pictures of the Elf on the Shelf! You know you can’t wait for that! See you then!

Do you celebrate Christmas? What do you do to make the day special? Leave a comment and let’s chat!


  16 comments for “Christmas is Coming: An Essay

  1. mamabyfire
    December 18, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    This year is going to be different for us, but the start of a new tradition. On Christmas Eve and the two days following Christmas we will be surrounded by extended family. But on the big day, on Christmas, it is just going to be our little family at home. I am so excited, it’s going to be so relaxing! Have a Merry Christmas!!
    mamabyfire recently posted…Discovering Washington: The Wetlands at Theler CenterMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 18, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      That all sounds awesome! Happy holidays! 🙂

  2. aviets
    December 19, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I can imagine how hard Christmas would be to celebrate so far from home and family. Making new family traditions is lovely, but of course you miss those who are so far away. I’m feeling like real Christmas won’t start until our oldest gets home next week. Really, what Christmas is, is being with those we love most. Thinking of you!
    aviets recently posted…Out of the mouths of babes…My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 19, 2015 at 8:38 am

      You took the words off my keyboard 🙂 Merry Christmas! I hope it’s filled with laughter and love.

  3. Joy
    December 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Merry Christmas Jenny – our Christmas will be simple, trying to focus on the real message and spending it with my own family, my dad and my sister. I hope yours is full of fun and special moments.
    Joy recently posted…Santa’s Secret HideawayMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 19, 2015 at 6:22 pm

      Thanks Joy! Your Christmas sounds delightful! Enjoy 🙂

  4. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    December 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I had to smile at some of your words, since we had some recent psychological trauma surrounding Christianity and Santa Clause and some visiting playmates to our house. Made me think hard about what I do and if I should really be okay with it. (I am.)—Living away from family would be hard at the holidays, but each year I’m clinging more to my own little family and feeling my spirit, still loving, but leaving my parents, sisters, and aunts. It’s strange. Like that verse, excuse my paraphrasing, so shall a man leave his parents and cleave to his wife. Totally getting this one as Brandon and I continue to draw closer and gather up our daughters to us. I’m sure you’ve grappled with this early on as the physical distance is much further and a sharper knife.—Well, Merry Christmas to you Chad, and Zoe. May your Christmas-time be full of God’s love toward each other and the world. I hope you’re feeling it, girl!—Terri
    thehomeschoolingdoctor recently posted…Bad Pancake DaysMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 21, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Oh man, I can imagine that situation. I was the forever believer of Santa, my husband was the kid at all the get together a that upset many many parents and kids with his true but not really wanted words. 🙂
      I totally agree with the verse for sure! But this time of year, I think mostly because z is an our one and only, I wish for the extended family as well. But of course, the stress of making both sides of the family happy each year was often stressful. So I am happy that I don’t have to deal with that anymore!

  5. Lani
    December 19, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    I’m curious why don’t you all go home for the holidays? A lot of expats make the trek back home during this time.

    As for me, I feel like I’ve spent so many holidays away from home that I’m perfectly okay just going to a nice restaurant or doing something pleasant, but not crazy. I might book us for a Christmas dinner somewhere. I don’t know. Calling my mom makes it feel like the holidays, but I try to call her once a month 😛

    It sounds like you are doing the right things in making Z’s holidays as memorable as possible. I’m sure whatever you do as a family will be fine 🙂 Being together is what counts!
    Lani recently posted…SwimmingMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 21, 2015 at 8:15 am

      There are a lot of reasons, mostly money and time. 🙂 though my parents just moved to Texas and Chad’s parents still live in California. There would be no way we could choose between the two to spend Christmas with, so there is that as well.
      Before we had z I could honestly take or leave any holiday (except Halloween, I love that one).
      I think a lot of it is just trying to give z the awesome Christmas mornings I had as a kid. 🙂
      I think it will be an awesome Christmas because we have each other and are very happy. I hope yours is awesome (any great buffets or brunches in siem reap?).

  6. Frei
    December 20, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I miss Christmas too here in Phuket. It’s always been different when we lived overseas, but this place has been the least I feel Christmassy (just making up words here). Around this time of year I miss my family more then ever, and wish I could enjoy some of my mom’s food too! Luckily we have been invited to a friends place for a bbq and some holiday cheer. Looking forward to that – but it’s still not the same!

    So in short – just saying that I feel ya 😉
    Frei recently posted…IKEA is coming to Phuket! Well kind of…My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 21, 2015 at 8:16 am

      We had a thanksgiving BBQ and it was a blast! I hope your Christmas one is awesome as well!
      Oh my mouth waters just thinking about my parents Christmas dinner… So delicious. I think I may be going to pinkys gallery cafe for Christmas Eve dinner. I bet it will be delicious. 🙂 happy holidays Frei!

      • Frei
        December 25, 2015 at 9:30 am

        Hope you’ve had a lovely christmas eve dinner! And loads of fun today. Merry Christmas
        Frei recently posted…That time of the year againMy Profile

  7. Nicola
    December 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Hello, lovely post. We’re in Hat Yai, Thailand, feeling very homesick indeed!! I wish we could go home for Christmas but I only get a week off school and my husband gets no time off, plus the cost, hopefully next year! I look forward to seeing what you get upto on Christmas, I think we’re heading to Koh Lipe Island…. for a few days, hopefully that will help compensate for the lack of Christmas!
    Nicola recently posted…Thailand Travel Favourites!My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      December 21, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Aw yes, the time off issue is a big one! We are only taking Christmas Day off.
      I think island hopping is an excellent idea. I have not yet been to Koh Lipe… I will check out your blog and keep an eye out for a post about the island. Happy holidays!

  8. Pingback: Monday Montage: Christmas Prep in Pictures - And Three To Go

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