Ever since I was a kid, I have been super into Christmas and I mean annoyingly into Christmas. The holiday season has always been my favorite time of the year for more reasons than just one. Christmas is by far the best holiday in terms of spirit and presents which is just a few of the many reasons I love Christmas.
Christmas is a time where people come together despite their differences and who they are. People seem to be happier with holiday cheer. The thought of going to the mall does not make me sick with the disgust of consumerism, but rather feels my heart with joy to see a collection of people spending time and their hard earned money trying to make their loved ones happy. Christmas seems to bring out the best in people, I usually never talk to strangers, but after Thanksgiving, I am given holiday greetings by almost everyone I encounter.
Growing up, I always loved seeing the decorations and passing by a house to see a tree lit up in the window. Christmas is my favorite holiday because the magic that Christmas brings seems to never die. Even as I grow older, I get to see that childlike joy in my little sister as she asks me to help her with her Christmas list and makes sure everyone in the house knows not to dare touch the elf on the shelf or he will lose his magic. Christmas is the best holiday because just for a little while everyone believes in the impossible.
But, my absolute favorite part of Christmas is something I wasn’t able to realize until I went off to college—being with my family. Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday because just for a few days my sisters and I stop fighting, my dad is off from work, and I am home with my family. There is something about Christmas-time that seems almost magical with the feeling that everyone comes together. I am so lucky that I am able to be with my family and show our love and appreciation for one another no matter what else has happened throughout the year.
As a child, I loved all things Christmas and would always be excited to decorate the tree and wrap presents. And while I still do love to do those things, I care less about the presents I get and more the feeling I have known all my family is together. Christmas is the season for giving, caring, loving, kindness, and sharing. While Christmas is a special holiday that we get to experience once a year, I sure hope one day we can take some of that Christmas spirit and make it year-round. Christmas is a time for bringing people together and expressing their love which is why it is my absolute favorite holiday.
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Christmas is coming, and most children are probably waiting for Santa to come to their homes and deliver gifts for them. It would not be an exaggeration to say Christmas has long ago lost its religious meaning for the majority of participants in this holiday and has turned into some kind of family celebration with presents and dinner. However, this is true mostly for the United States (and perhaps Great Britain), but what about other countries? Although not all the world is Christian (and Christmas is a Christian holiday), many nations celebrate it annually, each in a different way.
Countries of the European Union have different traditions regarding Christmas. For example, if you ever go to Sweden or Norway on Christmas, you will be surprised to discover how people of these countries prefer porridge to cookies. In Netherlands, Santa Claus comes not from the North Pole, but from Spain, using a steam boat, and his assistant is not an elf, but a guy named Black Peter (parentdish.co.uk). Italian people put up scenes of Christ’s nativity in churches, city squares, and homes. However, rather often, Italians exchange gifts on January 6th (kids-world-travel-guide.com). In Ukraine, Christmas is also celebrated not on December 25th, but on January 7th, which is connected to a different calendar that is used by the Orthodox Church for religious dates. Until Christmas Eve, people usually fast for 39 days, and then have a 12-course supper in honor of the 12 apostles (todayifoundout.com).
As for Asian countries, in Japan, for example, Christmas is considered to be a time to share one’s good mood and happiness with other people. As most Japanese people are not Christians, this holiday in Japan has no religious connotations. Japanese couples usually see Christmas Eve as a romantic occasion to spend time together, go to a restaurant, or have a walk, so it is somewhat similar to St. Valentine’s Day (which is, in its turn, super popular in Japan). Besides, unlike the United States, Christmas in Japan is not an official holiday, so companies work as usual, and the traditional Christmas food is cake and chicken (whychristmas.com).
Christmas is celebrated even in India, although there it possesses some national specifics. For example, instead of pine trees, Indians decorate their homes with mango leaves; they also decorate mango or banana trees the same way as we do with pine trees. Also, Indian people like to put burning oil lamps on flat rooftops—this symbolizes the light Jesus brings to the world (thenorthpole.com).
Although Christmas was originally a Christian holiday, it has spread all over the world, and has become a popular and a favorite holiday in many countries. According to Christian ideals, Christmas brings peace and unity in the homes of people across the world, and regardless of how people decorate their homes or what they do on this occasion, the holiday still remains one of the main annual events for many families across the globe.
“Christmas Around the World: Christmas Traditions and Celebrations Worldwide.” Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
“12 Christmas Traditions from Around the World.” Today I Found Out. N.p., 13 Dec. 2010. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. .
“Christmas in Japan.” Whychristmas.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
“Christmas Around the World: How Different Countries Celebrate the Festive Season.” Parentdish UK. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. .
“Christmas in India.” Thenorthpole.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014.
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