CHRISTMAS IN UNITED STATES
In the United States, Christmas is observed on the 25th of December.
Here the festive season traditionally begins on the fourth Thursday in November, just after the Thanksgiving holiday. On Thanksgiving Day, a spectacular parade is taken out in New York City that has the smiling figure of Santa Claus participating in it. It indicates the beginning of theChristmas shopping season.
The majority of Americans celebrate Christmas with the exchange of gifts and greetings and with family visits. For many, the day begins on Christmas Eve with the Midnight Mass. At Christmas it snows in many states, so dinner is usually eaten indoors. Dinner usually is roast turkey with vegetables and sauces, goose, duck or ham served with cranberry sauce, then plum pudding orpumpkin pie followed by nuts and fruit.
American homes are decorated with holly, mistletoe and branches of trees, most have a Christmas tree hung with electric lights, tinsel, baubles, and strings of popcorn and candy canes.
The exterior of almost every house and the adjoining shrubbery is adorned with strands of electric lights. Strings of electric lights are used not only to adorn mantlesand doorways, rafters, roof lines, and porch railings of individual homes but also of public/commercial buildings, departmental stores and even business hubs. Christmas trees are also seen to be set up in most of these places. It is often a pastime for the American people to drive or walk around neighborhoods in the Christmas evenings to see the lights displayed on and around other homes.
Forkids, it is a day of great joy since most schools and other educational establishments are usually closed. In the evening, most people add final touches to their home decorations. Many also set up the Christmas tree in their homes on this day. Many people travel to visit family members or friends on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas dinner in the U.S. includes turkey or ham, potatoes and pie. Cakes areof course, a must for the occasion. The menu also consists of a lot of desserts such as the "Crostoli," a fried bread spiced with orange peel (as made in Italian-American communities) or the "Pfeffernuesse," a bread full of sweet spices (eaten by German-Americans) or the "Berlinerkranser" - a Norwegian wreath-shaped cookie. Baked breads and cookies are also part of the dinner list. At ChristmasEve gatherings adults drink eggnog, a drink made of cream, milk, sugar, beaten eggs and brandy or rum.
After dinner on Christmas Eve, children go to bed early but not before hanging up their stockings on the fireplace or the end of their bed to be filled with gifts and goodies by Santa Claus. On the following morning, children wake up to look for their desired items in their stockings and alsofind nicely wrapped presents under their Christmas tree.
City Of Lights
Weeks before Christmas, houses are decorated with trees that are beautified with coloured lights, tinsels, bright ornaments, stars and angels. Electric lights are installed in homes, commercial buildings and business centers too. Santa Claus, snowmen, reindeers form a major part of the festivities.
CelebrationsSince Christmas Eve is not an official holiday in America, offices hold celebrations and parties is spread cheer and joy. But, schools and universities are closed, because of which children take part in the merriment and help their parents with decorations. Roman Catholics attend midnight masses and participate in carols singing. Protestant churches conduct special services with the famous 'mangerscene'. As per tradition, children hang up stockings before going to bed on Christmas Eve hoping that Santa would fill it with presents.
Traditional Christmas Dinner
The traditional Christmas dinner in USA includes turkey or ham, potatoes or pie. Cakes are mandatory for the occasion; the menu also comprises of crostoli, fried bread spiced with orange peel and 'pfeffernuesse' that is bread made...
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