Me in my first grade classrooms last year, playing the Jolly Old Elf himself.

Vietnamese loooooove Christmas. And, while I didn’t get/have to dress up this year for my job, I still got my fill of the regional holiday music.

Endless techno Jingle Bell remixes. Cloying, sugary, soaring ballads. Mariah Carey covers every hour, on the hour (…actually not so bad. What is it about that song?? Will we be collectively singing it forever? Is it – gasp – traditional now?? OMG please say it is). Feliz Navidad, inexplicably, and quite a bit of it.

Last year I kept meaning to document this visit to another aural dimension, where a driving synth beat is practically mandatory on the uptempo hits, but things got hectic.

This year, however, I’m on my game. Armed with cafe time, Shazaam, and fair-to-middling doses of ibuprofen to pair with my coffee, I took the plunge.

Lucky you. Oh, lucky, lucky you!

Click on, brave souls with a few minutes to spare… I dug out the youtube recordz for you, and I’ve got a few tracks to spin! Listen and marvel as Vietnam attempts to give you diabetes over the internet…

And hey, these are just my opinions, and I hope you know that too. If you like one, that’s cool! Since I don’t particularly care for much Western holiday music anyway (John Denver/Muppets, Peanuts Christmas – you’re excused), these tracks are just the crazy straws that broke this camel’s back.

It’s all in fun, friends!

That being said, the rest of you should definitely grab an extra stiff glass of ‘nog before you proceed. You’ve been warned.

Jingle Bells (Gio Dong Giang Sinh) – Wanbi Tuan Anh

This is THE repeat offender of the bunch.

With a metronome set to “jackrabbit,’ car horns, and a helium-dwarf chorus of ‘dings’, this is a mainstay you’ll hear over, and over, and over. I mean, I don’t really care for holiday music anyway, but if I hear this one too many times in a cafe, I’m out. I would rather leave.

Mua Giang Sinh Dau Tien – Anh Tai

A Vietnamese version of “The First Noel” set inexplicably in a cutesy bedroom/vintage junk shop attic (what are those non-blue Smurf statues the camera keeps panning over?) and sung by an interchangeable Vietnamese male idol. It’s not bad, it’s just… unnecessary.

Bo Ngai Con Theo Ai – Phan Dinh Tung

This could pass as a straight up traditional Vietnamese ballad.

I hate those.

Extra points off for the saxophone interlude, too.

Feliz Navidad – Cong Thanh & Lynn

English, Spanish, French, and Vietnamese. You CAN have it all.

those tops, tho…
that setting tho…
those dance moves tho…
those backup dancers tho…


This would be rather charming (it’s just so delightfully high on Christmas Spirit) if I didn’t hear it so often.

Chuc Mung Giang Sinh – Top Ca

A prime example of the Vietnamese tendency to ‘have it all’ – if one christmas carol is good, half a dozen must be GREAT! This is a typical medley-style performance, complete with fireworks, choreography, an MC, and so many Santa suits. This particular video isn’t as atrocious as the one I Shazaamed off the cafe radio, but it’s pretty hilarious in other ways, so I kept it.


Let it Go – Demi Lovato



…Can’t it at *least* be the Idina Menzel version?

You know there’s thousands of TERRIBLE, REALLY AWFUL western songs, but everyone goes a little crazy this time of year and emotions and memories run rampant. It’s ok to have a time of year when your better sense fails. Just remember to blog about it. I guarantee you I’ll read it.

Look for my upcoming post of Vietnamese Christmas songs I kinda LOVE!

Got any good (bad) ones I missed? Comments, Please!