Adapted Christmas Traditions from Living Abroad

Living abroad definitely has it’s ups and downs. One being… HOLIDAYS! I miss my family so much during Christmas. However, I have learned to share the Christmas spirit with friends in Asia, as well as adapted my traditions to fit my lifestyle abroad. Here are a few old, and new, traditions I have on my list:

Origami Ornaments

Now that we live in Japan, a Buddhist country that doesn’t celebrate Christmas, I wanted to mix some of their traditions with my own. So, rather than making your typical glass ornaments, or popcorn and cranberry garlands, I have been making origami decorations instead.

Christmas Light Spotting

Although I have lived in a Buddhist country for the last few years, I still find that people in Asia, although don’t celebrate Christmas, still love the decorations. So prior to Christmas I make sure I hit up all the light displays around town. 

Christmas Crackers

This is a fun tradition from my friends in England. It’s a roll of fun! Filled with candy, toys, a crown and a joke. 

On Wednesday’s We Wear Green

This is one I’ve added after living in Thailand for 3 years. In Thailand, each day of the week represents a different color. Christmas is not a holiday celebrated in Thailand, but I have adopted the daily colors by wearing the color of the day on Christmas, even if it’s not your tradition Christmas color. 

Candle in the Window

This one is thanks to my heritage from Ireland. On Christmas Eve, a candle is placed in the window to welcome anyone passing by. Others, however, believe it is to symbolize the welcome of Mary and Joseph, or Catholics and Priests. Either way it is a tradition my family has always done and I still do today. 

Christmas Pajamas

My sister and I started this when we were younger, but we would wear matching pajamas on Christmas eve. In most recent years I have not been with my sister on Christmas, but I still make members of my household participate J And, I have made my pajamas crazier and tackier. I find that this is a good distraction in those early Christmas morning photos 😉

Cream Cheese Stuffed Christmas Toast

Stuffed French Toast- this is my own Christmas doing. Citrus like clementines and mandarin are popular during this time of year. So, I make my famous, and fattening, French toast. I feel like the one day to splurge on sweets is Christmas! This meal also goes well with Christmas mimosas (for those of you that are dealing with a lot of family ;))


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