Christmas Families In America
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In America the Christmas celebration varies widely from family to family and city to city. This variation is mainly dependent on the ancestry of the people, but also somewhat dependent on the region and family situation.
A family in Minnesota would follow most of the customs of their grandparents living in Norway. They probably would not exactly follow all of the traditions; they would gradually be influenced by the differences from their neighbours, who could be English, German or of another ancestry.
The change might be a minor thing such as the way they decorate the Christmas tree or house before Christmas; after a few years it may not be evident to the family at all.
It would be noticeable to their Grandmother, if she came over to visit her grandchildren during Christmas.
I have never been to Texas, but they do not celebrate Christmas exactly the same as people do in Minnesota. The large regional differences in the climate also play a factor in the way Christmas is celebrated.
Christmas remains the most important holiday in America.
It is a family day and a religious one that is based on hope, joy and giving.
There is no such thing as a standard Christmas or a certain best way to celebrate it. Every family celebrates it in the way they feel the happiest.
They must first get into the Christmas Spirit.
This Spirit cannot be found in any magic bottle, but one can find it more easily by giving. This giving does not necessarily mean charity, money or things; it can be your verbal encouragement, hope, time, or bringing happiness to others.
Some Christmas customs may seem silly or funny to someone else, but this is not really a laughing matter.
It would be best if no person should ever be ridiculed for any custom they have.
When I was a small school boy I remember that Christmas season began with snow and cold weather.
When the first big snow fell in November many children would get excited because Christmas was approaching. We would make snow men and angel imprints by laying on our backs and wavy our arms in the snow.
In December, all classes would begin practicing carol singing with 'Joy to the World', 'O Little Town of Bethlehem', 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' and 'Silent Night'.
In a few weeks every class was ready for the annual Christmas pageant.
The parents were invited one night to the gymnasium, which had been decorated with trees, coloured lights and ornaments to witness the gala affair.
When the parents were seated the procession would begin with the little 1st graders entering in a line, in pairs, dressed as angels singing 'O Come All Ye Faithful'.
They would march slowly down the aisles, up onto the stage and find their places. They would be followed by the next highest class and then the next class until all classes were on stage and they sang the last chorus together.
The program went on for an hour and all children of all classes participated.
The parents were proud when they would see their children singing in the class groups.
The outstanding singers from each class would sing solos, while the groups hummed the accompaniment.
The Christmas spirit would reach out and families were drawn closer together at this time of the year.
Merry Christmas Everyone.
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