April 2024
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Christmas Pageant

American Community School Christmas Pageants

During the 1950s and 1960s it was an annual tradition at American Community School in Saigon to hold our Christmas Pageant. The entire student body always took part in the Christmas Pageant.

Even though most of us were far from our home country, our Christmas Pageant seemed to get us all into the Spirit of Christmas – serving as a reminder of what Christmas was really all about and the true meaning of Christmas.

I fondly recall, not only the festivities, but also how most of us would form little groups and find ways to – *do good stuff* – for others less fortunate then us in the Saigon community. I always enjoyed this part of the Holiday Season while in Saigon – *doing good stuff* – as we cruised around full of Christmas spirit and cheer acting like Santa’s Elf’s putting smiles on people’s faces – particularly the kids.

If you attended a school other then American Community School, how did your school celebrate Christmas?

What do you remember about your Christmas’ in Saigon?

What part did you play in the school Christmas Pageants?

What kind of  – *good stuff* – did you, your family, your friends do in the community?

How did your family celebrate Christmas while in Saigon?

What did you miss most about Christmas and the Holiday Season in Saigon (compared to Christmas in your home country)?

What do you remember about Christmas shopping in Saigon and finding gifts for those on your Christmas gift list?

What was the most unusual thing that happened to you during Christmas while in Saigon?

What was the most wonderful thing that you experienced during Christmas in Saigon?

If you could travel back in time to create a school Christmas Pageant – what would it be like? What would you include in the pageant? What would be the theme of the pageant? What kind of – *good stuff* – would you and your friends do for others in the Saigon community?

As always, you’re welcome to leave your Comments below.

Happy Holidays!       🙂


1 comment to Christmas Pageant

  • Bruce Thomas

    Whenever I travel the couple of hundred miles over to a neighboring state, to the city where my mother was born and raised, I visit the graves of my parents. And then I’ll stroll the hundred yards or so across the city’s largest cemetery to visit the grave of my mother’s mother.

    It never fails to jar me that the date of my grandmother’s death seems to be off by one day from when I remember it having been — the gravestone has it as 12/5/1960, but my head thinks it should instead be dated 12/6/1960, for that was the date of my birthday that I spent in Saigon.

    Before we left for Vietnam, my parents had agreed that in the event of the death of one of their parents, the distance involved would make it senseless to travel back home for a funeral. So I remember the sadness that occurred on my 15th birthday when a telegram arrived in Saigon from my uncle telling of the death of my grandmother twelve time zones behind us. In those days, a telegram was our form of “IM”, and so it always seems like Grandmother died on my birthday.

    My mother mourned from afar, and only 3 weeks before Christmas. In the days ahead, the freshly-cut fir trees arrived from the upland region around Dalat and were on display in profusion on Flower Street in Saigon. Preparing for Christmas would be a salve for my mother.

    I don’t recall the source for the strings of lights or the other decorations we used — surely we hadn’t brought them from the States in our household goods, did we? — but the cheerily festooned tree graced our living room and intrigued our servants and their children, especially the youngest boy, Tam. I suppose he was closer to my age, but he looked more like he was seven or eight. I think it was the joy that came for my mother from surprising Tam on Christmas Day with a shiny new bicycle, and the size of his smile when he first saw it and understood that it was his, that helped her absorb the ache of her loss half a world away.

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