Christmas in Ho Chi Minh City ( Saigon)

 

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Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of the French colony of Cochinchina and later of the independent republic of South Vietnam from 1955–75. South Vietnam was a capitalist and anti-communist state which fought against the communist North Vietnamese and Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, with the assistance of the United States and other countries. On 30 April 1975, Saigon fell and the war ended with a Communist victory. On 2 July 1976, Saigon merged with the surrounding Gia Dinh Province and was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after Ho Chi Minh (although the name Sài Gòn is still commonly used).

The metropolitan area, which consists of the Ho Chi Minh City metropolitan area, Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa and surrounding towns, is populated by more than 9,000,000 people,making it the most populous metropolitan area in Vietnam. The city’s population is expected to grow to 13.9 million in 2025.

Pictures from a friend, excerpts from Wikepedia

Rockefeller Center Tree 2013

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I took a quick trip to NYC last week and was able to go by Rockefeller Center and see this year’s tree. Here is the story for this year and some history:

The evergreen from Shelton,CT chosen for the 2013 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will return to Fairfield County after the holidays to help give a family a place to live.

Tishman Speyer, the company that owns and operates Rockefeller Center, will mill lumber from the 76-foot-tall Norway spruce to be used by Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County to help build exterior and interior walls for a home in Bridgeport,CT.

This is the seventh consecutive year that the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

Many Rockefeller trees have been given to Rockefeller Center by donors. The late David Murbach,Manager of the Gardens Division of Rockefeller Center, scouted in a helicopter for the desired tree in areas including Connecticut,Vermont, Ohio, upstate New York, New Jersey, and even Ottawa, Canada.The trees are now scouted by the Head Gardner at Rockefeller Center, Erik Pauzé. Once a suitable tree is located, a crane supports it while it is cut, and moves it to a custom telescoping trailer that can transport trees up to 125 feet tall, although the width of New York City streets passing through Rockefeller Center limits the height of the trees to 110 feet.

Once at the Rockefeller Center, the tree is supported by four guy-wires attached at its midpoint, and by a steel spike at its base. Scaffolding is put up around the tree to assist workers in putting up 30,000 lights attached to 5 miles of wiring.

The star that has topped the tree since 2004 is 9.5 feet  in diameter and weighs 550 pounds. This “Swarovski Star” was created by German artist Michael Hammers.

Although the official Christmas tree tradition at Rockefeller Center began in 1933 (the year the 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened), the unofficial tradition began during the Depression-era construction of Rockefeller Center, when workers decorated a smaller 20 feet (6.1 m) balsam fir tree with “strings of cranberries, garlands of paper, and even a few tin cans” on Christmas Eve(December 24, 1931).Some accounts have the tree decorated with the tin foil ends of blasting caps. There was no Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in 1932.

-excerpts from The Shelton Herald and Wikepedia

 

 

Christmas Collections

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I have had my Santa collection for over 20 years and it has been fun to open the box every year and get them all out-each one has a special memory for me; where I got it or who gave it to me over the years.  Whether it is Santas, a Christmas Village,small antique trees, nutcrackers, snowmen, “kitchen”, needlepoint, mercury, glass or dog ornaments -make a collection  part of your tradition at Christmas.

Addition to Santa Time in Santa Barbara

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 This just came in from one of my readers:
I just saw your blog for today and thought you might like a Montecito follow up. On Sundays, there is a thing called Santa Barbara Cars and Coffee where people drive into town (actually downtown Montecito) in their vintage and/or high end cars. They then get themselves some coffee and admire each others cars. Last weekend was the second annual Chicken Run; the vintage fire truck, all decked out for Christmas, is filled with frozen chickens. The truck leads the way and there is a procession of all the cars to Hope Shoppe where the chickens are then distributed to needy families.

 

Santa Time in Santa Barbara

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We have been hammered with snow this past week in Boston so around here it looks pretty ready for Christmas. I started wondering what it looks like where it is warmer and more tropical so I asked my sister-in-law to send me pictures of Santa Barbara. From the palm trees that are decorated,to the creche in front of the Mission, to the lobby at the Biltmore Hotel, to the flags on State Street ,to the trains set up at the library,to even the Buddha ,they look ready for Santa as well!