A Saigon Christmas Tradition

Since moving to Vietnam, we’ve had to part with Christmas traditions we were used to. For our small family, we had to start making our own. Aside from the non-negotiables, putting up the Christmas tree and going to Christmas Mass, we had to make our Christmas celebration meaningful especially for the kids. We started with the Advent Calendar a couple of years ago but I wanted to do something different with it, as I didn’t want to just give candies or small toys for my kids. I wanted it to be something that will actually prepare them for Christmas.

So for Day 1, I asked my eldest to write Christmas cards for family back home and in Syria. While doing this activity, I realized that he can only do 3 cards in one sitting. 😛 We had to chop this activity into two.

For Day 2, we put in a CD and listened/sang to some Christmas songs. Simple. Back in my country, starting September, you’d hear Christmas songs being played in the radio stations, TV shows, and malls.  Well here in Vietnam, we really have to make an effort.

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I’ve also downloaded some Christmas movies so on Day 3, it was Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer day.

On Day 4, we have a busy book for Christmas. So I read the kids a Christmas story and the book had some Christmas mat and Christmas ornaments they can play with.

We read the Christmas story on Day 5 using one of Sam’s old Christmas books then we proceeded with watching four clips of the Christmas story I’ve downloaded here. My eldest loves the video clips and kept on watching again and again.

On Day 6, since we didn’t have a proper stable for the Nativity Scene, we decided to build one. Well….I sorta built one while my son assisted. He did color the paper figures though.

 photo IMG_20131205_183205_zps9493e39a.jpg photo IMG_20131206_174844_zpsd7eaf8ac.jpg photo IMG_20131207_104010_zps194f2fa2.jpg photo IMG_20131208_093718_zpsd7df4097.jpgDay 7 was movie day again and we watched The Polar Express. And on Day 8, Sam wrote a letter to Santa from him and his baby bro.

On Day 9, we opened the Bible to the book of Luke and read the passages on the Christmas Story followed by the videos.

We played Christmas Charades on Day 10 but it wasn’t too successful. It was still fun though. 🙂

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On Day 11, Sam made a Christmas card for his teacher, Ms. Elaine. It was almost the last day of school.

On Day 12, we viewed old Christmas photographs and videos. That elicited a lot of laughs.

Day 13 was for viewing Frosty the Snowman and Day 14 was for visiting the Canal District Christmas display and bazaar.

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 photo IMG_20131215_110817_zps9f3b1b25.jpg photo IMG_20131216_093221_zps568e567e.jpgOn Day 15, we decorated our door with paper snowflakes and Day 16 was for the return of the busy book.

On Day 17, we read a 3 Christmas poems including one I made a long time ago for kids.

On Day 18, we watched the Christmas story again. I decided we should watch this every week till Christmas.

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On Day 19, we watched The Muppet Christmas Carol followed by reading The Night Before the Night Before Christmas on Day 20.

Frozen was on the cinemas so we watched that for Day 21. On Day 22, we were preparing for a Christmas Eve party and so my son helped decorate Christmas presents we were giving out.

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Since it was Jesus’ birthday soon, we blew up green and red balloons and decorated our home on Day 23.

On Day 24, we read The Christmas Star. It’s a terrific book as the photos would change when you turn a page. Both my sons enjoyed this book. It’s lyrical as well. photo IMG_20131225_002423_zps74516b12.jpgAnd of course, on Christmas Day, we attended Christmas Mass and opened presents.

I just want to chronicle this new tradition so I have a copy for next year! LOL.

Hope you all had a terrific Christmas! 🙂


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