Traditional Christmas In the USA

 Christmas in the USA is associated with colourful decorations, plastic Christmas trees and brightly lit houses. The term "kitsch" may almost be justified in our imagination.

But is that really true? If you take a closer look, Christmas is also a celebration of love and family in the United States and is at least as exciting as Halloween or the national holiday.

Interesting facts 

Greeting cards are still sent to relatives, family and friends in the USA - preferably with a personalized photo, the so-called Christmas Photo.

Unfortunately, American children have to do without the visit of St. Nicholas on December 6th. It doesn't exist in the US.

Christmas is celebrated in the USA on December 25th, Christmas Eve and the Second Holiday are not known as public holidays.

The symbolic Christmas pickle is also found in the USA. The tradition is said to come from Germany.

Typical American Christmas traditions

Colourfully decorated Santa Clauses, garishly flashing fairy lights and typical scenes from the Christmas story paired with reindeer or artificial snow - all this is part of Christmas in the USA. Even magnificently decorated houses and especially Christmas trees made of plastic can be found here.

Incidentally, the weakness for brightly coloured Christmas decorations is shared in the USA with its Canadian neighbours. Kitsch is simply part of Christmas.

It is a nice tradition to send personalized greeting cards (Christmas Cards) with a family picture in a Christmas atmosphere to parents and grandparents, to friends, neighbours and acquaintances. As much as you probably communicate more digitally throughout the year, Christmas can be a little more personal.

A tradition from Germany is said to be the Christmas cucumber. It is hidden somewhere in the Christmas tree by the parents - of course in such a way that the offspring only discovers it on closer inspection - and then wants the children to look for it.

The lucky little finder then gets an extra gift from Santa Claus. By the way, the Christmas cucumber is a symbol of a happy new year.

Santa Claus brings the gifts on December 25th

There is no giving of presents on December 24th in the USA.  American children get their presents on Christmas Day in the morning.

December 25th is called "Christmas Day" in the USA. Santa Claus is called Santa Claus. He comes into the houses on the night of December 24th to 25th. He does not choose the easy way through the door but comes through the chimney. He then fills the Christmas Stockings with presents for all the children. The socks have to be hung up properly beforehand, only then can Santa Claus fill them.

On Christmas Eve, some children put a glass of milk and biscuits in front of Santa Claus before he goes to sleep. After all, he wants to be rewarded for his hard work and maybe even leave a gift or two in his socks.

Christmas Dinner

At Christmas, the table in the USA is particularly richly set. Here the United States is no different from many other countries around the world. The Christmas dinner is similar to the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey is served and everything that the local kitchen has to offer in terms of delicacies is served. Of course, cookies, gingerbread and tree trunk cakes should not be missing. It is certainly interesting that the traditional Christmas dinner also depends on where the family originated.

Families whose ancestors immigrated from Western Europe traditionally eat turkey, ham or turkey with cranberry sauce. If the ancestors come from Eastern Europe, there are turkey, kielbasa – a sausage popular in Poland –, soups and cabbage dishes. If a family comes from Italy, lasagna should not be missing at Christmas.

Typically Americans are gingerbread houses, which are prepared before Christmas and which can then finally be eaten on Christmas Day.

The Christmas Holidays

Christmas Eve does not exist in the USA. But many families then go to church together and let the holidays begin in a relaxed manner. Christmas Day starts very early in the USA. After all, the socks in which Santa Claus left his presents need to be unpacked.

During the day, the whole family eats again and maybe you watch one or the other classic on TV. Boxing Day is also not celebrated in the United States. 

Typical Christmas movies

There are also some film classics in the USA that are shown every Christmas and that can be enjoyed with the whole family. These include, for example, "The Grinch", "A Christmas Story" or "It's a wonderful life".

The most beautiful holiday destinations to spend Christmas in America

There are some places in the United States that traditionally lend themselves to Christmas vacations. New York City is likely to be at the top of the list, and the destination is also popular for Christmas shopping.

The city lights are definitely worth a visit. Don't miss the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, it's best if you can be there when the lights are turned on.

Chicago is also a popular winter destination. Here you have the best chance of a white Christmas due to the climatic conditions. Worth seeing is the Magnificent Mile or Christkindlmarkt, which resembles a German Christmas market with German food and traditional woodwork. Also worth seeing is the large Christmas tree at Daley Plaza.

If you like skiing, you should choose Colorado. The resort towns of Steamboat Springs, Vail, Telluride and especially Aspen are famous. Families with children are also welcome here. Those who don't want to while away the time on skis might head to Denver. The Zoo Lights in the zoo are not only popular with children, who are sure to enjoy a ride on the Holiday Carousel.

If you like it warm at Christmas, Florida is an option. Then a visit to Disney World is a good idea, where the popular Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is celebrated. In Miami itself, Christmas is celebrated in a more Latin American style and is therefore a little different, but no less entertaining.

Read also:

Christmas In UK

Christmas Cookies: Vanillie Kipferl

Glühwein-Mulled Wine

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