A Little Holiday…Christmas Fun in Chiang Mai

This recent Christmas I ran a 10K run in the Chiang Mai Christmas Marathon, made gingerbread houses and hung out with my aunts friends for bowling on Christmas Eve (and they are kind of my friends too now, I guess!). I am glad we did all these things because I’m usually waiting for presents and wondering what my family got for me, but instead, this time I was waiting for my turn to bowl, running, and I was talking to friends around me the whole time.

Ana and a (fake) snowmanAna's decorated Christmas cookies.

I missed my family this year, but this Christmas pretty unique because I am here in Thailand and since they are mostly Buddhist here, they don’t celebrate Christmas the same way, but they still do a lot of Christmas things! There was a big outdoor ice skating rink right near our house and Christmas entertainers dancing around at night. Also, there was a Thai women singing Jingle Bell Rock with backup dancers and everything, but she kept singing the words wrong! It was kinda funny because she shouldn’t know all the words since she’s Thai and Buddhist, but I know them by heart so it was strange to hear a Thai person singing Christmas jingles!

The whole week was a lot of fun. I wish that in America Christmas wasn’t all about getting presents, but about being happy and spending time with the people you love and care about. Except, I don’t think in America I would want to run 10K every Christmas because that would just be a disaster, and I wouldn’t want to almost die every year.

Friends on Christmas Eve for a fancy pasta dinner

The most fun part of my Christmas this year was decorating cookies and making gingerbread houses because no one was mad that they didn’t get what they wanted (especially because they hardly got anything) and because it was delicious. We went over to our friend’s house and a lot of our other friends were there too, so the girls all decorated cookies and made gingerbread houses together. It was really funny because at one point, Paddy’s house kept falling (she wasn’t adding enough frosting!! :) I made a two-story gingerbread house and I used a lot of chocolate and strawberry frosting, so mine stayed together–poor Paddy  :(

Paddy figures out how to make a cute little gingerbread house and chocolate snow man.

It took me about an hour to do the house, and I didn’t have a lot of decorations on my house because I made a bunch of cookies first…and then I ate them, so I needed to make a house so I had something to eat later!

Ana eyes the candy on her gingerbread house!

I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning for the Christmas 10K, and it was terrible because it was freezing outside and I am not a morning person at all; I like to sleep until about 10am every day if I can, so our race was SO early! There were other people running a half marathon and a full marathon and I just don’t know how they did a half marathon and a full marathon, I can hardly do 10 kilometers!

The race started at 6 o’clock and my aunt and I ran with Paddy, our friend. During the race I kept running out of breath and at one point thought I might throw up, but we were doing interval running, so I got to run for two minutes and walk for one minute (and I was allowed to take longer breaks near the end when I wanted to throw up). My earphones for my iPod broke half-way through, but luckily my aunt gave up her headphones so I could listen to music until the end!

Paddy, Ana, and I completed the 10K run in just 1 hour and 23 minutes!

We finished the race within 1 hour and 23 mins, and I felt like I had accomplished something big, because not many people can and would have run 10K, half marathons and full marathons–I felt really fit and proud of myself! And after it I got to eat a huge Western breakfast, which isn’t something we do very often, we eat a lot of Thai food here! We went to a nice restaurant with some of our friends here and I had a bagel with tomato sauce, ham, bacon and cheese on it; it was so good because I was hungry after the race.

Lindsay, Ana, and Eva ham it up on Christmas Eve.A  bowling ball Christmas tree!

The Christmas bowling was really neat to do because I’ve only been bowling about five times in my entire life. Other people should think about bowling for Christmas Eve instead of sitting of looking at their wrapped Christmas presents, because then you’re focused on having a good time, not what you might be getting. So here’s the down-low on why you should bowl on Christmas Eve: it’s really fun, it gets you some exercise, and I think everyone in your family and your friends would have a fun way to spend time together.

What is your traditional Christmas Eve celebration? Do you usually go somewhere, and do you think you would want to go bowling for Christmas Eve one year? 

About Ana

I've got heart and soul, and stories waiting to be told. In 2011, I first left the US and was homeschooled from Southeast Asia by my aunt for 6+ months. Now, I travel with her in the summers and share my stories here. I've visited 7+ countries and counting! "Wherever you go, go with all your heart" — Confuscious

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11 Responses to A Little Holiday…Christmas Fun in Chiang Mai

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