Tag Archives: Christmas

Our International Christmas Tree!

I set up our tree early in November, this being the Philippines and all and Christmas decorations were already out, so I joined the fun! 

I bought the tree last Christmas and been collecting ornaments during the year, buying things from different places we visit and even converted a few key chains into ornaments.  It could have gone horribly bad, but I like the end result (these are all iPhone pictures, so the quality is a bit subpar):



So here’s a few of the ornaments close up…

An elephant from Thailand, and a star from Marshall Islands…


Another elephant and giraffe also bought in Thailand, both converted key chains (got lots of elephants on that tree…).



Gecko and turtle bought at the market in Cambodia…



Of course, the US of A gotta represent, so I have some ornaments bought at our trip to Guam last year.


I bought this elephant in Singapore


And this monkey (that Karl thinks looks like a sperm) in Cambodia.  The ball next to it was bought in Thailand, but I think it comes from India?


Why not have Chinese new year’s stuff decorating a tree?  This was bought in Singapore.


These are obviously key chains too, both the seahorse and the crab are from here in the Philippines!



This mask is from Indonesia…


And another item bought in Thailand that wasn’t really from SE Asia.


Despite my husband being a bit of a Grinch when it comes to Christmas decorations, I got the Starbucks mug for him (he’s a bit addicted…).


The butterfly was bought in Vietnam!


And more Chinese new year’s stuff bought in Singapore!


I’m not naïve:  I know that, perhaps except for the ornaments I got in the Marshall Islands, odds are everything else was made in China, but it’s the thought (and the memories!) that count, right?

Plus seeing all the elephants decorating my tree makes me insanely happy!


Filed under Asia, Foreign Service, Philippines, Pictures

It’s finally Christmas Season!

In our house, anyway.  Christmas season in Manila started back in September, but it was about time we caught up!  After failing to buy a Christmas tree last year, I knew I would have to find a way to get one while we were overseas. 

Due to plain stupidity and tiredness, I said “sure put it in storage” when the movers asked about our xmas stuff, and I arrived in Manila with absolutely no decoration, aside from some ornaments I bought during the after-season sale last year.  Even my tiny 3-foot tree stayed behind. 

But once again we’re hosting Christmas Eve this year (last year we hosted too and ended the night belting out karaoke songs, it was a blast), and I knew there’s no way it would look like a true Christmas dinner if we were lacking a tree…

So off to Target.com I went, only to have them tell me that they’re not shipping no tree to DPO (they’re surprisingly REALLY strict with what they ship DPO!  Even Lily’s Halloween costume couldn’t be shipped through it…).  So I was off to Walmart.com, hoping that they would be nicer with their shipping rules.

And nicer they were!  2 weeks later, I got to open this box:


And after going to 5 (!!!) different stores,  I finally had enough lights and ornaments to decorate our tree. 

Since I was used to tiny ornaments for my tiny tree, I definitely erred on the side of small balls (they really only sell balls as ornaments here, at least that’s all I could find after hitting 5 stores for xmas loot, good thing I had bought a few a year ago!), so the tree didn’t look exactly as I hoped.   Jokes aside, I think I needed bigger balls…

To be perfectly honest, during the daytime the tree just looks plain crappy…


But luckily, it looks much better at night!


Now we just need to find a skirt for it, so it doesn’t scream fake, but I rather drag my fake tree from country to country than have to deal about not having a tree at all.  (Plus, let’s face it, I grew up in Brazil, fake tree for me IS Christmas!)


Filed under Foreign Service, Pictures