Christmas Traditions in the Island Countries We Serve!


Christmas Traditions around the World!

Island Countries

Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle all the way! Christmas is almost here! During the holidays, it is the best time to spend with family and engage in traditions. Here at MLJ, we always encourage families bring in other countries traditions and incorporate them into their own. This helps their adopted children to feel even more at home. When MLJ partners with each country, this is a way to learn about their very unique and fun holiday traditions. These traditions can easily be added to your home during the holiday season!


In early December people in Haiti start decorating for Christmas tree. It is common to cut pine branches or to find a tree that has been brought into town from the mountains. They often decorate the tree with bright ornaments and set up large nativity scenes around the bottom of the tree. On Christmas Eve children will place their newly cleaned shoes filled with straw under a tree on the porch. Santa, called ‘Tonton Nwèl’, will remove the straw and replace it with presents! It is common to go to a Midnight Mass church service and then return home to eat a meal called ‘reveillon’. On Christmas day it is common for families to stay home so that they can sleep, eat, and play with their toys from Tonton Nwèl.

How to say Happy/Merry Christmas: Creole/Hatian – ‘Jwaye Nowe’ French – ‘Joyeux Noël’

Haitian Chicken Puffs




Christmas in Samoa can begin months in advance to build up to the annual event called “13 Days to Christmas”. These 13 days are filled with choirs singing Christmas carols and dramas being performed in the village of Vaitele-Uta. Christmas day begins with church and a remembrance of the miracle of Christ’s birth. After church families will open presents, eat food, and play game such as kilikiti or volleyball.

Christmas trees: Samoa does not use pine trees as Christmas trees like America does, however people have been getting more creative and making Christmas tress out of Bananas and coconuts. They will then decorate them with lights, ornaments, and tinsel.

How to say Happy/Merry Christmas: ‘Ia Manuia le Kerisimasi’

Panipopo (Samoan Sweet Coconut Buns)




Listed below are all the sites we gathered information from. Take a look!


Photo Credit

Photo Credit