Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm jumping all over but I just can't help myself

I know I'm jumping all over the place, but I can't help myself! There is just so much that I want to share with you and soooo much that happens here on a day to day basis, I have to get it out!

Christmas in Chiang Mai is absolutely nothing the way I imagined it would be!

Here in this country that has a population of about 90% Buddhist, Christmas is not celebrated by the majority of the people.

In fact, some of my earlier holiday conversations with people while looking to compare some Christmas traditions, were met with blank stares…then a smile…then a giggle…then a shake of their heads; No, we don't celebrate Christmas here!

But to tell you the truth, I was somewhat bewildered by this because all around me, I was witnessing the transformation for holiday celebrations in the stores, hotels, streets and restaurants, as well as a constant stream of Christmas carols piped into our midst.

If they didn't celebrate Christmas, then who was all this for??

Then it dawned on me…It was for us.

It was for all of the
foreign visitors here in Chiang Mai, to make us feel welcome and at home.

When I realized this, I was in awe. I've written about the generosity of the people here before, but this really takes the cake.

All of this, for us?

Now I know, you may be thinking, of course, increase the consumerism right? That could be part of it, but frankly, much of it has no association with even being able to make a purchase at all!

No, these are gestures of love…gifts of the heart that far exceed the generosity of hearts that I have ever witnessed before. They have no need or desire of it for themselves..they simply offer it to us, with no strings attached….just to enjoy.

Everyday, with every greeting, with every bow, with every helping hand that we receive, every night sky that is illuminated with fireworks or their huge gaslit lanterns, I am more and more taken by the beautiful, tender and loving nature of these people.

Their enthusiasm for life, their determination to celebrate life at every opportunity is mind boggling, so uplifting and so very inspirational.

Wait until you see the photos I am sharing with you ….you'll see what I mean…..A Snow Festival in Chiang Mai at 76*F ?

We have so much to learn from these beautiful people.

Thank you for letting me share them with you and please take a moment to think about how you might extend yourself to another; with no strings attached in a way that speaks to their hearts and not necessarily what would speak to yours.

It's an interesting thought isn't it?

This is Heaven on Earth…Wish you were here!!

With much love and best wishes for a wonderful holiday of giving,