Gjennom hele desember legger jeg ut gjesteinnlegg fra folk fra hele verden som forteller om deres julefeiring og tradisjoner der de bor! Vil du lese mer om konseptet trykk HER ♡ I dagens innlegg er det Rachel fra USA som forteller.
Bildene er Rachel sine private..
Christmas is in the air. Here in the United States, we already have Santa’s and ornaments decorating the aisles of every store. My girls have received a ridiculous amount of toy catalogs shipped to our doors full of toys they may want for Christmas. Christmas, though not yet December is in full swing.
Christmas here in the US is interesting because we are the mixing pot of the world. There are so many different cultures that surround us every day. We are almost immune to it when asked about how we celebrate Christmas.
I remember when I was first married and my husband and I had to decide how to celebrate Christmas. I was shocked at how alike, yet different our traditions were. It really got me thinking about how different we all celebrate. Even down to the type of tree we have.
Decorating for Christmas
In the United States, there are many options for the tree. You can get a real tree (This is what my husband and I do), a fake tree, a white tree, a pink , blue, snow-covered, pre-lit, large, or small tree and the list goes on. Personally, pink trees are a bit much for me, but I think my little girls would love it.
Then there are the ornaments. Now for me, I am a sentimental tree decorator. This means that each ornament (besides just colorful balls) has value. My mother hand-painted some ornaments for me when I was a child. They are so special to me as I put them up on my tree. I have started my girls on a box of their own ornaments to hang up on the tree. These are special ornaments that make the tree about more than just looking pretty but make it feel like home.
Finally, there are all the decorations that surround the house. Some people decorate the outside with lights. My favorite tradition when I was young, and I now do with my daughters is a PJ light run. You put on PJs, go to bed, then after about 10 minutes (not enough time to fall asleep) you ring a bell. We get our girls out of bed, load them in the car and drive around looking at Christmas lights on houses. Singing Christmas Carols is a must for this.
This is where many people are different on how they go about their Christmas time. Some wait till the last minute to buy gifts. Others buy them all year. Some participate in the local Christmas activities while others stay inside warm.
For my family, we like to do a mixture of it all. We bake cookies, make gingerbread houses, make our own ornaments, decorate our tree together, and also go out to the local Christmas Carol sing-a-long or into town for some fun. It is very different and personal preferences for sure. Some do advent calendars to countdown to Christmas. These also are so different from one another. There are just so many Christmas things to do.
One Christmas hit in the US is the Elf on the Shelf. Introduced a few years back, it is a little elf who gets into mischief throughout the Christmas season. He/she watches your littles to make sure they are behaving for Santa. The most difficult part is making sure you remember to move the Elf!
Many people do many different things for Christmas. For example, my family celebrates on Christmas Eve. My husband’s family celebrate on Christmas Day. (This worked out great for us!) My family enjoys enchiladas while my husband’s family has the traditional ham.
When I was growing up we did the same thing every Christmas Eve. I loved the simplicity of it and knowing what to expect each Christmas was wonderful.
We always spent Christmas at my grandparents house. We left cookies out for Santa. Then went to our local Christmas light show. Thousands of lights put together in a magical designs that you ride a tram to see. One year it was so icy the tram was shut down, so my family WALKED the whole thing. It was amazing (and cold) to see them all up close. Next, we went to Christmas Eve service. My favorite part of Christmas Eve service at church is the reminder that Christ is the reason we celebrate Then when the lights go out and everyone sings Silent Night together, I think that is the most beautiful sound in the world.
After service we head back to the house. My grandparents had a house that was magical in and of itself. However, Christmas always made it twice as big with all the love and happiness that filled those walls. My grandmother had a white room (where everything was white), that we were only allowed to be in, on Christmas Eve. My grandfather would start a fire while we got on our pajamas and get some cookies. Then he would read the Christmas story, The story of Christ’s birth, such a powerful message of how God can truly do anything. Finally, we would open our gifts. The day was always filled with such happiness and love for me. I look back with very fond memories of those Christmases.
My husband’s family did things a little differently as they celebrated on Christmas day. They woke up, read the Christmas story from the Bible and then opened gifts. Followed by a traditional Christmas meal of ham and mashed potatoes.
It has been fun as the years have gone by and we now have our own little girls. We have been creating our own traditions. Finding what works best for us and what our girls enjoy most. However, I will always cherish those traditions from my childhood. As you can see, so many families do so many different things this Christmas season. However, I feel as though one tradition surpasses even the culture line. That is the tradition of love, giving, and cheer.