By Scott Shalom
The US has many different religions and races or peoples. So, to describe any one of their ways of celebrating Christmas wouldn’t be fair. But in general, a typical American Christmas would probably be one celebrated by one of the different protestant religions. There are Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Mormons, etc. The Majority of the American population is Protestant. Basically, most families that I know celebrate the holiday by having a Christmas Eve and or Day dinner. If they are
religious, they will go to church on Christmas Eve get up early on Christmas Day to open the presents that Santa Claus had brought for all the family.
Now most people will take at least a day or two off for the holiday and if possible a total of a week or two to include New Year’s Eve. Most people will put up an artificial or real Christmas tree sometime after Thanksgiving. The day or now the night of Thanksgiving will include Black Friday, which is the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Most Malls are fully decorated and stocked by this time. There is a general positive feeling in the air of doing good onto others, as the holiday preaches.
I personally have experienced more of a Brazilian Christmas than an American Christmas, because up until I married my Brazilian wife I pretty much only celebrated Hanukah. Although I have many good Catholic and Protestant friends and feel that the good will that is advocated is truly there if you are open to it. People’s homes and neighborhoods and city areas are all lit up with Christmas and Hanukah lights and in some areas, people drive around at night to see the decorations. There are even carolers who go from home to home singing Christmas tunes to people to spread the positive message of the season.
The White House even has Choirs come in at this time of year to sing this positive message of the season.
The Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner will include usually either a Ham or a Turkey as the main course and traditional favorites of each family tradition. Eggnog is quite popular as a Liquor type of dessert beverage.
The presents are usually opened Christmas morning as opposed to Brazilian and other traditions that may open them at midnight on Christmas Eve. You can usually go around the typical suburban neighborhoods seeing children riding their new bikes or skateboards. Nowadays they probably are using the new hoverboards.
As I said the holiday technically lasts about two weeks to include New Year’s Eve and Day, although most people only celebrate each holiday due to their individual financial situation. In summary during this holiday period there are a lot of parties, eating, drinking and good will toward all.
On a foot note here. Last Christmas my family and I spent it in Fairfield Glade, Tennessee. It turned out to be a White Christmas for my family. For Americans this is almost a magical way to celebrate Christmas. Since we couldn’t celebrate with my wife’s family we were alone. We chose to go to a Catholic Church right near by the Hotel we were staying in. It turned out to be one of the best Christmas’s that we ever had. The people were positive, and we were well received. It didn’t matter if
we were regular parishioners of this church.
In closing, I wish the best to everyone during their important holiday seasons!