Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014!

It's been awhile, a LONG while, since we have updated The MacLeod Thaimes. Instead of trying to update it all now... let's just start with where we are... Merry Christmas!

While people know what Christmas is in Thailand, people don't really know what it is about. Sure, it's about Santa and gift giving, putting lights on trees, decorating things with snowflakes and snowman, and eating yummy food- but Jesus is usually left out.  Just take a look at every mall in Bangkok and you'll see evidence of this.

Some of the pre-Christmas traditions that we participated in this year included caroling and cookie making- albeit Thai style.  Caroling was organized by our church and was on a river boat up and down Bangkok's Chao Phraya (we did this a few years ago with my mom as well). Cookie making was done at a co-worker's (who happens to be from Milwaukee) apartment that has an oven (we don't have an oven).

After the hours of baking we delivered cookies to our school and also kept plenty for ourselves. Greg and I provided platters for our building staff as well as his co-workers. 

Setting off around 4:30  on a Saturday afternoon we enjoyed being on the river at it's prettiest time: sunset. We were led by a worship team to sing church classics such as Silent Night and kid's favorites like Frosty the Snowman. My favorite time was when families/groups from different countries came and sang carols in their home language. We heard songs in Thai, Japanese, Persian, Tagalog, Spanish,  a few different African languages, Malay, Urdu and plus a few I think I'm forgetting.

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year were very different. On the 24th we enjoyed a dinner out at a favorite local restaurant.  Because of Greg's extra long commute we did not make it to church. We then opened just one gift each from our stockings. On Christmas Day Greg went to work and I spent the day with a few groups friends eating too much. Greg joined in the second gathering which included eating roasted turkey, turkey enchiladas, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, carrots, stuffing, and a choice between pumpkin or pecan personal pies from a local Mexican restaurant. It was a modest gathering and our eyes were bigger than our stomachs when ordering- so we all even took home large plates of left overs!  I even snagged the turkey carcass to make some homemade stock. We just finished opening gifts today (27th) and somehow even though they aren't even here in person Baby Mac got the most...I wonder if this is how it will always be....

My morning at Sam and Jamethon's home was just lovely! Their friends Zach and Neung (in the picture) also joined in a relaxing morning of eggs, bagels, fruit, moneky bread, and even egg nog! I especially liked their poinsettia Christmas bush!

From Sam and Jamethon's I traveled by taxi to my friend Chris's house for another gathering. Our meal was catered by a local Mexican restaurant and was just fantastic. Chris lives in a house with yard just north of downtown in quiet neighborhood so visiting him really feels like going over to someone's house in the US. The top left photo shows the day after stock making with the turkey carcass. My plans for that include making a turkey and bacon split pea soup.  

Even though Greg had work this week, he said it was fun time to be there. On Christmas Day he wore his light up Santa Hat (see middle bottom picture taken by our tree before heading to work) and brought chocolates to give the guards and toll booth workers on his commute.  He participated in the office Secret Santa festivities that accumulated with the New Year Party on Friday night with  dinner and bowling. He was on the blue team. 

Of course all of our Christmas activities have been planned tentatively because we are anxiously awaiting Baby Mac's arrival. Their (we don't know if it's a boy or a girl) arrival date is scheduled in just 10 days! We are also anticipating the arrival of our lifetime friends Steph and Danny Kimball in a few days.  They will join us for 4 days around Bangkok and then travel to Cambodia, then Chiang Mai Thailand before spending one last day with us (maybe the 3 of us!) before heading to Japan for some more traveling.

We hope this blog post is the first of a string of them to help keep you (and document for ourselves) what we are up to over here in Thailand. Merry Christmas!

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