We’re dreaming of a White (Rock) Christmas

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We’re dreaming of a White (Rock) Christmas

If you have ever spent a Christmas on Koh Tao, or even followed along from home by reading about our favorite ex-pat Christmas traditions, you’ll know that Christmas is as important to us here in our Koh Tao family as it is to is when we are back home with our actual family. Many of us like to head out for a little dive in the morning as a nice way to celebrate that it’s Christmas day, but almost everyone spends the afternoon together with their Koh Tao nearest and dearest doing exactly what we would do at home – eating, drinking, exchanging gifts, playing games and generally relaxing on the rare occasion that almost everyone is off work and can enjoy our time together.

Merry Fishmas

We got to thinking, what happens at our favorite dive sites when all the divers are enjoying the Christmas celebrations? Our talkative Parrotfish friends were more than happy to share with us all the low down on their White (Rock) Christmas. And it seems some of their special Christmas traditions are not really very different to our own…

Have you ever wondered how the coral reef knows that Christmas is coming? It was one of our first questions also. Of course it’s the wise old coral heads that know. The Parrotfish say the brain corals know everything. The corals on the White Rock reef have been there longer than any of the fish or invertebrates, and are always considered the smartest on the reef. Many of the corals have seen hundreds of Christmases and since they are so in tune with the lunar cycle that helps them to help coordinate their spawning, they always know when it’s Christmas.

One of the most excited fish is the juvenile Sweetlips. She has been asking for several months when Christmas is coming. She wrote her letter to Father Fishmas with her wish list months ago. It has since been carried on the ocean currents to the North Pole and she cannot wait for the arrival of her presents.


The red-breasted Wrasse is much like his winged cousin the robin red breast. He has been looking forward to Christmas all year and much to the annoyance of the rest of the reef, has been singing Christmas songs since September.

Of course not everyone on the reef is as excited as these two. The resident Scrooge of the reef is the Hermit Crab. He doesn’t like Christmas and would rather stay on his own. Lucky he has his own shell that he can retreat into to stay away from all the Christmas cheer and silliness. The Grinchy Grouper doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about either. Although by the time Christmas Day finally comes, both the Hermit Crab and the Grouper have remembered that Christmas is really about coming together and they eventually join in with everyone else.


There are a couple of reef-dwellers who really get the White Rock in the festive mood. As you might imagine, it’s normally the Christmas Tree Worms with their feeding feathers that twinkle in and out of the corals that get everyone on the Reef looking forward to a proper White Rock Christmas. And you’d have to be grumpier than the Grouper to be able to ignore the beautiful chorus Angelfish who travel around the reef singing carols for everyone.

Finally, close to our heart and something we can all surely recognize from our own Christmas celebration, is how our friends the Anemone Family put the highest importance on being together to celebrate their Christmas as a family… Although some of the younger anemone fish are starting to wonder why their favourite Uncle Nemo who has come to visit this year has, for some reason, become Aunty Nemo. Maybe this is a story they can learn more about when they grow up….



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