How Does America Celebrate Christmas?
The United States of America truly is a melting pot of cultures with many different traditions and ways of celebrating Christmas. Christmas in America is a time for coming together and celebrating family, friends, and happiness. It's a time to celebrate all that we have and reflect on the year that has passed. But, how does the United States truly celebrate Christmas? Let's find out!
The United States of America is a melting pot with many different traditions and ways of celebrating Christmas, due to its multicultural nature. Christmas is a federal holiday in the USA, so schools and businesses are closed on December 25th every year. Christmas in America is a time for coming together and celebrating family, friends, and happiness. It's a time to celebrate all that we have and reflect on the year that has passed. But, how does the United States truly celebrate Christmas? Let's find out!
How Does the United States Celebrate Christmas Today?
The United States truly is a melting pot of cultures, due to its storied past. This means Christmas in America is celebrated in many different ways, depending on where you live and what culture your family identifies with. However, there is generally one commonality between all families - Christmas trees!
The first recorded Christmas tree in a home was set up by Charles Follen of Boston - who, as we know from his wife's memoirs written 10 years later, had been a German political refugee. There are more accounts from early American times where trees were planted around houses such as those found within Virginia diaries and letters around 1842; Ohio correspondence also mentions an instance near Chillicothecass County recorder’s office around 1847.
A Christmas Tree in the White House
Did you know America is the fourth largest country in the world by land mass? Well, as the country is spread across a large part of the globe, it experiences many different climates. Christmas in The United States is celebrated differently due to these different climates. Families in warm climates (think Florida, California, or Texas) may spend Christmas day at the beach, while those in cold climates (think Wyoming, New Hampshire, or Michigan) may go sledding or build a snowman.
In some parts of the country, people still put up Christmas trees and decorate their homes with lights and garlands. Others may spend Christmas Eve at church services and then come home to open presents around the tree. For many Americans, Christmas Day is spent with family, eating a big meal and exchanging gifts.
In recent years, some new traditions have developed in America around Christmas time. One of these is the "Secret Santa" gift exchange, where each person in a group draws another person's name out of a hat and then buys them a small gift. This is usually done in workplaces or among groups of friends.
However, for the most part, Christmas in America is still a time to come together with family and friends, exchange gifts, and enjoy the company of those we love. It's a time to be thankful for what we have and celebrate the holiday season.
What is The History of Christmas in America?
The history of Christmas in America is a long and varied one. Christmas was first brought to the Americas by German settlers in the early 1600s. These German settlers were the first to put up Christmas trees in their homes and celebrate the holiday with feasts and gift-giving. Christmas wasn't widely celebrated in America at this time, however, as the Puritans (who made up a large part of the population) believed it was a pagan holiday. It wasn't until the 1800s that Christmas began to be widely celebrated in the United States.
In 1650s, the Massachusetts colony briefly criminalized Christmas celebrations. The law was relaxed as more British colonies arose in America with other parts of British North America having no such inhibitions about celebrating this time-honored tradition with costumed revelers going door-to-door for food or drink presents while wearing costumes that wigged out their victims!
This change began with Washington Irving, an American author who wrote a series of stories called "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle." In these stories, Irving painted a picture of American life that was very different from the Puritanical view. He showed Americans celebrating Christmas with feasts, caroling, and gift-giving. This new view of Christmas caught on, and soon more and more Americans were celebrating the holiday.
Furthermore, the 1800s was a time of great change in America. The country was growing rapidly, and new people were arriving from all over the world. Christmas became popular in America during this time because it was a holiday that could be enjoyed by everyone. It didn't matter what your religious beliefs were, or where you came from - Christmas was a time to come together and celebrate. This was especially important during a time of such change and growth in America. Christmas helped people feel connected to each other and their country, and it quickly became a cherished tradition.
It wasn't until June 28th, 1870 that Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States. This was due to Christmas having become such a large public celebration throughout the country and a large part of the social calendar in a lot of States.
Do the Different States Celebrate Christmas Differently?
Did you know Santa is known as "Kanakaloka" in Hawaii? He is often portrayed as a jolly man wearing a red and white Hawaiian shirt and shorts. Kanakaloka brings gifts to children on Christmas Eve, and he is also known for his love of surfing.
Santa is known as "Kanakaloka" in Hawaii
In the southern states of America, Christmas is often celebrated with a large family dinner. This dinner usually consists of ham or turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cranberry sauce. After dinner, many families enjoy desserts, such as pumpkin pie or pecan pie.
Another popular Christmas tradition in the south is decorating the inside and outside of one's home with Christmas lights. In some cases, entire neighborhoods will come together to create a "Christmas light display" that can be enjoyed by all.
Some popular Christmas traditions in the northeastern United States include attending holiday concerts and plays, going ice skating, and visiting Santa Claus at a local department store. Many families also enjoy baking holiday cookies and cakes, as well as decorating their homes with festive Christmas decorations. The German, French and Dutch historical connections still play a large role in how people from these states celebrate Christmas to this day.
How to Have a Perfect American Christmas
I think if I lived in America with my family, the perfect day would look like something below;
7:00 am My family and I would wake up and enjoy a hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and coffee before checking if Santa has eaten the cookies and milk we have left out for him.
9:00 am The kids would open their presents from Santa Claus and start playing with their new toys. Gotta give them time to enjoy the moment!
12:00 pm The family sits down to a delicious Christmas lunch of roasted meats, mashed potatoes, delicious greens in butter sauce, and cranberry jelly. Mum would then bring out a scrumptious pecan pie!
1:00 pm After lunch, the family enjoys Christmas cookies and cakes while watching Christmas holiday movies. Can't beat a yearly repeat of Home Alone!
3:00 pm After letting our tummies settle, the family goes outside to enjoy the snow and build a snowman. Maybe even have a snowball fight!
5:00 pm The family comes inside to warm up by the fire and exchange Christmas gifts. The adults may prefer a class of mulled wine, or spiced rum while the kids can either choose non-alcoholic eggnog or hot cocoa.
7:00 pm The family enjoys a quiet evening in front of the fire and Christmas tree, reflecting on the blessings of the past year whilst singing Christmas carols and songs from Love to Sing on YouTube!
Christmas in America is a time for families to come together and celebrate. It is a time for giving and receiving gifts, enjoying festive meals, and creating cherished memories. There are many different traditions associated with Christmas in America, but the one common thread is the joy and happiness that comes from spending time with loved ones during this special time of year. Merry Christmas!
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