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Thailand, where Santa is the father of Jesus

Video: Ho, ho...huh? Welcome to holly, jolly Bangkok.

And similar to religion, Bangkok’s flashy Christmas style is unrestrained by Western decorum. The Bangkok Christmas Decoration Exporters showroom, where Thais come to select their synthetic trees, would not look out of place in Willy Wonka’s factory.

In addition to traditional pine green, the trees come in tangerine, cotton candy pink, lemon-drop yellow and even licorice black. For 350 Thai baht, about $10.50, they’ll throw in their “Holiday Tree Pine Fragrance Real Scent Delivery System,” which can hang discretely from a plastic branch.

In mid-December, orders both domestic and foreign were keeping workers so busy that the owners cancelled weekly Buddhist meditation sessions, sometimes led on the factory floor by a local monk. Vilaiwan and her sisters, she explained, like to emphasize “good Buddhist practices” for employees.

Still, while many elements of Christmas are ignored here, Thais have definitely embraced the holiday’s fuzzy, feel-good cheery vibe. Many Bangkok Thais use Christmas as an excuse to gather relatives, swap gifts and share good times.

“Is Christmas supposed to be Jesus’ birthday? The day Christianity was born? I really don’t know,” said Chudapa Arkasripath, a 16-year-old out Christmas shopping with classmates. “But the meaning of Christmas, I think, is to share love, be with your family and then go party.”
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/thailand/091216/thailand-christmas