First Christmas in Asia

December 26, 2010

tropical asia beach in Penang

It was a beautiful, tropical Christmas Day in Asia and we enjoyed an unplugged day of simple pleasures. It's already Boxing Day here, or the day after Christmas, yet we just had lovely conversations with family at home who were still doing Christmas Day.

kiddo, advent calander, christmas tree, asia

This is primarily a photo post to share some of our first Christmas in Penang with you and family. That's Mozart hanging out on one of our couches with her Hello Kitty chocolate advent calendar wearing her new night gown which was the present she opened on Christmas Eve. We unplugged on Christmas to be totally focused on the simple pleasures.

christmas gifts under the tree

The kid made out like a bandit as usual! The prices here are divine and some of the things were things she needs for here, plus a few toys that we will store for our several winters here.

opening christmas present

The Christmas morning unwrapping fenzy! One real book, the rest on her kindle.

tropical pool at our resort in Penang

Lazing at the pool is part of Christmas here.

tween and her new pink phone for christmas

Most wanted gift? Her very own pink phone for our tween that we promised her if she had to go by bus to her Chinese school. Luckily the van will take her from door to door, but good to have just in case.

tropical Christmas at pool and jacuzzi

View of the jacuzzi from our terrace


Happy kid on best family day of the year!

sea view penang

View out my bedroom window on Christmas. Soothing to the soul.

scooter girl

Another coveted present, a scooter which is perfect for here & very cheap ( she has another one at home in California, but the very large resort pool & playground area is perfect for one here.

piano keyhoard gift

Her good digital piano is in our motorhome in Europe, so we bought a cheap keyboard to keep here.

christmas cookies

They don't look great, but our home made chocolate cookies were scrumptious. No ovens in Asia, so we improvised and used our toaster oven. Mozart loooves to bake, so if there is a will, there is way. Even if that means two cookies at a time in the oven with no temperature on it. Good memories forever.

  opening presents on christmas morning

What kid doesn't like opening presents?

christmas tree with world ornaments

We have collected ornaments from around the world which makes it fun to reminisce.


Surprise and joy!

tropical pool fun penang

Pool time even on Christmas. Mozart likes her daily fix and prefers swimming there rather than the nearby beach across the road. Even with maximum numbers this week, it's still not crowded.


Mixing her love of baking, creating, clay and imaginative play, Mozart wanted this ice cream maker from playdough & made lots of money, numbers, etc to set up her shop.


Her fantasy was to serve us delights all day, so we had endless treats & did a mock up TV interview of her very famous treat shop.


A new wallet/coin purse in her stocking ( along with her fave vinegar pringles, card games and few other things) so she has a place for her lunch money for school as she is looking forward to the cafeteria! We had a lovely traditional dinner, but I didn't take any pictures. We ended the day with a movie DVD and half and today saw the funny Gulliver  movie at the local theater.

view of beach from our home in penang

All and all, a perfect Christmas Day! Hope yours was too. What was your favorite moment?



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Ian and Wendy Sewell

Hurray for toaster ovens! I've baked many a gingerbread house and pumpkin pie in mine when I was teaching. Mine did have a temperature control, though! Glad to see you had a good Christmas!


My favorite part of the day was watching my 15 year old boy hug his 18 year old brother out of gratitude for a thoughtful gift. I really enjoy watching my kids open presents. They don't get a ton of stuff, but they are so grateful for what they have that it makes it a pleasure to give.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Yes indeed, Wendy, hurray for toaster ovens! So I'm not the only one who uses them when that is all there is, eh? Happy Holidays to all of you! Happy the new babe arrived just in time to enjoy it too! ;)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Aw, that is very sweet Jo! Yes, there is nothing quite like watching sweet, grateful kids open presents! I think Mozart actually loves giving girts more than receiving, but it's fun to still surprise her. She loves Christmas!


Looked like it was definitely perfect!!! What an adorable daughter you have. :)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Andi! Hope your holidays are perfect too!

James Shannon

Sweet pad ... how much does rent cost in Penang?

Merry Christmas!


What a way to celebrate the day!Mozart looks delighted to have all those gifts.We have ovens here in India and I bake sometimes,but,you managed to chur out some cookies in that toaster oven.Great job.
Great pics.Lovely view you have there.


Thanks James, we really like it here. I've written a post with more pictures and price details that is coming next. Like most places, the price of rent will really vary, but basically it is cheap here.

We went for a very large, spectacular ocean view 3 bedroom, 2ba in a top resort on the beach, so we went for the higher end here. ( Still cheap compared to home or Spain). I've read ads for places for as little as 6 dollars for a room, but usually I think it is 12 to 20 a night in a low cost, good guest house.


Aw thanks Charmine! It was hard work to bake the cookies, sooo slow, but worth the effort.

Funny they don't have an oven in many of the rental places in Spain as well. I've heard some friends in Thailand say they don't even have a kitchen in their long term rentals. Yikes.

We have a large microwave ( we never use microwave) and the toaster oven, so it seems to suffice.

Happy Holidays to you!


Happy New Year! you have such an adorable lil girl!!Chinese New Year is around the corner, I think she will be soso cute in cheongsam!!


Happy New Year, you 3! Looking forward to what 2011 brings, knowing that we will be launching out into the great, wide world next January :-) with many thanks for your information and advice.

Sandra Fonseca

Algumas dessas fotos dessa criança estão sendo usadas por uma quadrilha de nigerianos que dão golpes financeiros em mulheres, pela internet. Eu recebí duas fotos dessa criança como sendo de filha do golpista, e dizia que ela se chama Kester e tem 6 anos.
Gostaria de alertá-los. Obrigada,

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