Baby with Parol


The Philippine Christmas Feeling… in a box

We started Campfire Crates because we were looking for a fun and easy way to teach our kids their roots. We’ve been working on it for a few years now, trying out different things - from a blog, to a community to now this - a subscription box. You could almost say that this is not quite a company but an experiment in how best to make your kids find their love for the things that you grew up loving about yourself!

Now that’s a tough ask and that’s why we would love it if you guys joined us in this grand experiment as well. We are working with experts to give you all a product rooted in child development and multilingual language learning but no one knows your culture or your children better than you, the parents! 

So when we decided to take the plunge, I was tasked with coming up with the mock-up of our crafts. Now, as you will be able to tell from the photos below, I am NOT a crafty mom. This is why we took special care in designing the final product to be easy to follow and more importantly for busy parents, easy to clean up after. 

Christmas Crafts

This was what the first parol mockup looked like. It was actually really easy to make, after about… 3-4 tries to get the size and shape right. And, I already had an eager customer! 

Christmas Parol Lantern Craft


We can say he was pretty satisfied with the result. Got to love kids, so easy to please! 

The next challenge was to come up with a tansan tambourine.

Raise your hand if you remember collecting these tansans and finding a rock or a hammer to flatten them out and putting a nail through them to make a hole. String it on a piece of alambre and you were ready to make your music and your money from caroling around the neighborhood!

Tansan Tambourine Philippine Christmas Caroling

So we are recreating this feeling with our little DIY tambourine.  However… it was such a surprise to find out that metal bottle caps are actually pretty hard to source these days! I remember growing up and hanging out at sari-sari stores where they would have boxes full of tansans. Remember the times they came with little prizes when you peeled the rubber bit off? 

So here is my little trial version:

Philippines Christmas Caroling Tansan Tambourine

We had a little caroler trying it out.

Philippine Christmas Caroling Tambouring

These were all pretty easy and basic that anyone can do! 

The thing that surprised me the most was that despite it all not exactly looking amazing, it brough a warm and fuzzy feeling to the house. We played with the kids and the crafts and people in the house started singing Filipino Christmas carols. Nothing really started it, just having the little things to remind us of home made the folks break out in song. Not quite sure what it was but there was a little bit of Christmas magic that was brought into our little home in Hong Kong that November.

I invite you to make your own versions too. But if you, like me, don’t have the crafty mindset, time or patience to come up with them, try our A Filipino Christmas Box and let us know if it gives you that Filipino Christmas feeling too. 

Maligayang Pasko from our multicultural home in Hong Kong to yours! 

1 comment

  • You have given me some wonderful ideas for crafting as a group of USA teachers welcomes a visiting group of Filipino teachers this Christmas season!


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