This year Christmas for me was spent away from my friends and family. Luckily, my mom came out to visit so I got a little taste of home. We traveled to the Mekong Delta, only an hour and a half away from Ho Chi Minh City. One of the highlights of the trip was our Christmas Eve church service, where we proved to be more of an attraction than the seizure inducing lights, oversized baby Jesus in the manger or baby Santas running around. The Christmas pageant was one I will never forget. It started with the story of Adam and Eve, so I thought for sure this was literally going to take all night. However, once Adam and Eve were banished fromt he garden the story jumped ahead to a very pregnant Mary. She and Joseph found a room at the inn, which in the Vietnamese version is actually a cave in a very large mountain decorated with Christmas lights. This of course was followed by a dance performed by small children in Santa outfits and star wands pointing to where the baby Jesus had just been born. The grand finale was of course fireworks being shot from the front of the stage, much like the end of a Justin Bieber concert.
This was an interesting twist to a story I thought I knew all too well. I’m glad I was able to learn a new perspective on “the reason for the season”, especially since being away from home made the holidays seem less festive. Enjoy the videos taken in front of the church my mom and I attended and have a happy and safe New Year.