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"Christmas is a time to give - whether it be a blanket to a person sleeping on your street or a hug to your friend or a card to your grandmother."
- Rasee Govindani

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Thailand

'Tis the season to be jolly and all that
by Rasee Govindani, 18, Bangkok, Thailand
Dec 16, 1999

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Rasee

I've been back here in Bangkok for about eighteen months now. I don't remember much about Christmas in India, except that is was awfully lonely. I do remember buying these tiny angels from the market for friends that I had only really gotten to know a month earlier, and it made me giggle to see the surprise on their faces. It hadn't felt much like Christmas, but a couple of days later, those same friends (about a dozen of them) drowned me in cards and presents, for the holidays and my birthday and my departure, and it made me cry.

I actually have my finals during this time, my last one on Christmas eve, and I'm working right through the holidays so the foreign teachers can go home to their families. That makes me feel a warmth I can't quite describe.

I don't know what I'll be doing for Christmas. Someone very sweet asked me to spend it with him, while my friends are all waiting to party with me. There are so many people to see, so many teachers to visit, so many friends to write to, so many gifts to buy, so many carols to sing, so many hearts to touch, and so much joy to share.

I once wrote an editorial for my school magazine during Christmas and the one thing I remember vividly from it is this: It doesn't matter what race or religion you belong to. Christmas is a time to give - whether it be a blanket to a person sleeping on your street or a hug to your friend or a card to your grandmother. It's those things that you will remember and those are the memories that will make life seem worthwhile. Don't hesitate. Touch someone's heart. Make your life, and theirs, spectatcular.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Rasee.

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