Editorial: December 2014

 |  March 25, 2015

‘Tis The Gift Issue.

Not that we need the weather to change to start giving, but conditioning (and marketing) has made it so. December is no longer just a month in which one religion’s spiritual head’s son was born, it has become a global exclamation point to the end of the year. Presents! Fun! Joy! And all of these warm and fuzzy feelings evoke largess, hence all the giving.

Like many of you, I go overboard during December.

Of course, I feel the stirrings of rage at the tinny sounds of children singing Christmas pop songs being piped out of speakers in every mall. I cynically recognise the glittering lights that brighten up our nights for what they are, visual sirens bent on seducing cash from my purse and credits from my card. I hate my scale with a passion only saved for bigots and politicians, and I resent the fact that work gets in the way of all the fun I insist on having. But through all of that, I love Christmas time; it is, bar none, the happiest time of my year.

Buying someone you love something they will love is a pretty great feeling. It makes them happy, it is fun to do, the gratitude you receive is not unwelcomed, and frankly, it reaffirms your knowledge of your very own generous and thoughtful nature. Importantly, it also likely means that you will be receiving something in return, which is always a good thing!

We kicked off the season of giving together in late November with the wonderful Citylife Garden Fair. More than a hundred of Chiang Mai’s businesses and Citylife’s friends, clients and readers donated over 530,000 baht worth of gifts towards our auctions and while we have yet to do the final tally (it will be published on our website before the magazine comes out), we reckon you, lovely readers, all the thousands of you who turned up to our fair, have together raised over 200,000 baht for our two chosen charities: The Foundation for Developing and Supporting Children and Skills for Life, both Chiang Mai based foundations working to help the underprivileged children and youth of the north.

To honour all of your generosity, we have decided to make this issue of Citylife the Gift Issue. We have a plethora of articles – some serious, others tongue-in-cheek – which look at the various ways we can give.

We introduce you to a charming Italian gentleman who is offering free hugs at Tha Pae Gate (go on, just walk into his open arms and get yourself some luvvin’). We also go off on a wee adventure, checking out this phenomenon called geocaching, a modern-day treasure hunt of sorts. We bring you a wonderful story about The Prostheses Foundation, where anyone in need can be gifted with a free limb in a day. Need some better luck next year? Visit a monk who will gift you with a brand new name to solicit your brand new fortune. And if you are seriously stuck with gift ideas, you can stop worrying, as our super duper gift guide will hopefully inspire you to find the perfect present for your loved ones.

I look forward to seeing you again in 2015. Let’s make it a spectacular year.

Citylife’s weary team at the end of the Garden Fair