Thesis Statement: There are clear cultural differences between Costa Rican and North American families when celebrating, participating, and organizing activities on Christmas day.
I. People’s aptitude toward this celebration
A. North American compulsive consumerism and materialistic perspective
on this day
1. Giving gifts assomething imperative
2. Christmas real meaning being ignored
B. Costa Rican strong unity bonds on this celebration and relevance
given to this day
1. Time to share with loved ones and for meditation
2. Placement of Nativity scene
II. Christmas activities celebrated with the community
A. NorthAmerican Christmas carols
1. Standardized carols around all the states
2. No clear relation to real meaning of holiday
B. “Las posadas” typically practiced in Costa Rica
1. Variations of this custom
2. Perseverance and importance of that tradition
III. Preparations for Christmas dinner
A.Abundant meals in a North American table
1. Merely an invitation to have dinner
B. “Los tamales” as an indispensable meal for this day
1. Family working together to prepare such typical food
• To compare and contrast two cultures by analyzing their reactions and actions toward a common shared festivity• To make students aware and think about how two cultures can differ or have similar customs or outlooks when celebrating a holiday that both share
• To analyze similarities and differences Costa Rica and USA have regarding social aspects like status quo, money spending, and spirituality
• To create a unit plan in order to teach English by studying this topic• To encourage students to put into practice what has been studied and learned
• To incorporate students’ experiences and anecdotes during the development and application of the unit plan
• To look for other holidays that can be compared and contrasted through the English lessons
TWO COUNTRIES, TWO CULTURES, AND CHRISTMAS
Even though Costa Rica and North America belong to thesame continent and that they apparently share an occidental ideology, it does not mean that their cultures have similar customs whenever holidays approach. In fact, an important date such as Christmas is celebrated totally different since the purpose and emphasis both kind of families in these countries held through Christmas differ enormously. In other words, there are clear cultural differencesbetween Costa Rican and North American families when celebrating, participating, and organizing activities on Christmas day.
Firstly, the aptitude displayed by families during this holiday shows the way these two cultures perceive Christmas and all this holiday involves. For instance, North Americans see this day as an urgent need to spend a lot of money on expensive gifts to be given thento each person they know in order to avoid being criticized or called stingy. The situation worsens because in the USA, this celebration has been turned into a commercialized day in which superficiality and money waste have somehow substituted the real meaning of Christmas and that reality has governed most Americans’ minds. Christmas should be otherwise understood as a period to reinforce familyrelationships and make a retrospection of one’s life.
In the case of Costa Rica, and due to its predominating Catholic influence, this day is taken by most people to glorify Jesus Christ’s arrival to Earth, and that idea has been preserved generation after generation. Most Costa Ricans take advantage of this day to visit relatives or friends, forgive those who had hurt us, or simply...