Vietnamese Language Blog

Christmas Decorations – Trang Trí Giáng Sinh Posted by on Dec 29, 2021 in Culture, Events, Seasons, Vocabulary

Photo by Lynda Hinton on Unsplash

I love December for its festive Christmas decorations. You see all sorts of decorations inside houses and across yards, from airports to stores, from large boulevards to little alleys. Whether big or small, simple or elaborate, you can spot decorations around the world, including Vietnam.


Each place may decorate with different themes and color schemes. Really, it doesn’t matter, as long as they have the essential, common đồ trang trí:

  • Cây thông – Pine tree
  • Trái/quả thông – Pine cone
  • Nhánh thông – Pine branch
  • Trái/quả châu – Bauble
  • Hoa tuyết – Snowflake
  • Người tuyết – Snowman
  • Con Tuần lộc – Reindeer
  • Vòng nguyệt quế – Laurel wreath
  • Hoa Trạng nguyên – Poinsettia flower
  • Bít-tất – Stockings/socks
  • Dây đèn – Light strings
  • Đèn nhấp nháy – Blinking lights


Not everybody could afford a cây thông and đồ trang trí. I saw some very creative tự làm (do it yourself) projects. I would say, the most available and cheapest material for any project is giấy (paper). It’s fun to get your kids involved making some origami ornaments.

Hey, no snow to see snowflakes? Let’s make some with a simple piece of paper!

If you have a chance to go to the parks that have cây thông, just pick a bunch of dried quả thông that have dropped on the ground to bring home for decorations. Some years, I have made a centerpiece plate/bowl with just all natural materials. Here is what I use:

  • Trái/quả thông – Pine cones
  • Nhánh trái ô-rô – Holly branch
  • Mạn/Nam việt quất – Cranberries
  • Que quế – Cinnamon sticks
  • Hoa hồi – Star Anises
  • Trái táo – Apples

Or I just spread the items listed above on a strip of vải bao bì (burlap) across the table.

One year, I saw my co-worker pop a bag of popcorn at work, but didn’t eat it. Guess what? She made a popcorn garland string to decorate the tree in the office!

Imagine you have a Christmas party and everything hanging on the Christmas tree is edibles: popcorn garland, gingerbread cookies, chocolate stars, candy canes, etc. The creative edible ornaments are something fun and I’m sure everyone would enjoy “picking” it to munch along with a warm cup of chocolate or coffee.

Vietnam has a tropical climate, but don’t be fool into thinking you couldn’t find any pine trees there. Along the coastlines, you’ll find a lot of cây dương liễu, also known as phi lao. It’s the Australian pine’s, scientific name Casuarina Esquisetifolia. To me, as long as you can find some sprigs of any type of pine, you can make use of a pretty, Christmas decoration.

After all, it’s not how expensive or elaborate the decor is that brings you joy, it’s about the spirit of celebrating the season with family and friends. Thus, it’s fine if you just have very simple Christmas decorations.  Sometimes, the simpler, the better; and less stress with clean up afterwards.

Wishing you have a very wonderful, sparkling season!

Photo by Юлія Вівчарик on Unsplash

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