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Thanks(giving) for Christmas

I have discussed this issue before, but it never ceases to amaze me. In this very devout, mostly Buddhist country, Christmas seems to arrive even before it does in Canada…

All of the malls have huge Christmas trees up and glittering away. There are Christmas decorations everywhere. And worst of all, particularly in the malls, there is Christmas music. It’s not even the end of November and there is Christmas music everywhere.

Less than 2% of Thailand’s population is Christian. Over 92% are Buddhist, so what’s with all this Christmas cheer? The Thais are extremely entrepreneurial and have figured, probably correctly, that the more familiar the shopping cues are the better, so why not go all out and have even more Christmas cheer than in capitalistic North America. Hence the over supply of decorations, music, angels and whatever else gets all those tourists into the stores. It seems to work. Bangkok, in particular, continues to be one of the most desirable shopping cities in the world.

What’s next? Black Friday Sales after American Thanksgiving? Yup, you got it. The ads are everywhere. I even saw a complete American Thanksgiving picnic basket for sale at one of the malls. It included prepared pieces of turkey and ham with lots of fixings, all packed in a lovely wicker basket. In fact, why not get your Christmas gifts in Bangkok during the Black Friday sale. A very attentive Thai sales clerk will be pleased to help.

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