All around the world, people celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on 25th of December. It is really one of the most anticipated and respected holidays of the year. People start planning for it a month before the original date. Children and elders alike wait as the day draws closer to enjoy the merry making on Christmas. However, the spirit of Christmas is not just limited to 25 December. Instead, the Christmas feel starts to seep into the atmosphere from December 1. Things only get merrier until the 25th as everything from the trees to the ornaments, doors, living rooms and clothes are decorated with a Christmas flair.
The holiday is celebrated in full glamour and excitement all around the world. Even where Christianity is not the basic religion of the people, Christmas is still a popular event. The tradition has become a widely separated event. Religion or not, people honor the day and step out to enjoy the remarkable decorations and amazing treats of Christmas. Of course, there are different traditions around the world, but Christmas is known for its popular tree. Yes, the Christmas tree is a signature ornament. These beautiful conifers are decorated with light bulbs and ornaments, styling them to look stunning!
What does Christmas mean around the world?
Yes, Christmas is celebrated across the globe, but what does it really mean? Tracing the word back to its origin, Christmas is a Greek and Latin word. Christ comes from the Greek word ‘Christos’ while mass comes from the Latin ‘missa’ which is a celebration. Looking back, Christmas is an ancient word and perhaps the longest surviving English word as well. Therefore, what is Christmas all about?
Christmas is about forgiving. It is about understanding people around you and trying to make amends so that you can live in peace and harmony. This is what we need to teach our kids as well. The spirit of Christmas is not just shopping; it is about forgiving your sister. It is about talking to our brother whom you have not contacted in a long while. Christmas is the family time all of us need and it is one day that we can all sit together to enjoy a meal as a family. Instilling these values of Christmas in your kids is important. It will help them realize what the true meaning of Christmas really is.
Another thing that we need to take care of is our expectations. At Christmas, it is not about the quantity it is about the quality of love. Little is more as you open up your arms to those around you. However, having high expectations and looking down on others can only mean a recipe for stress. You need to get out of that bubble and truly embrace Christmas, being happy in what you have. It is a blessing to be surrounded by the people you love, and who love you. Enjoy it to make the most out of this incredible day!
Some might say they are troubled and worried about a number of things. Yes, it is natural to have worries. However, the Christmas spirit asks you to lay these worries aside. For the sake of yourself and your loved ones, come into the family circle and enjoy the company of people around you. Leave your worries in the past. This is what Christmas brings us. A new hope. Yes, things take time to sort out, but they will eventually. It is that time of the year when everyone is happy without a care in the world. How joyful it would be if it were like this all year around!
Spreading joy is one of the core pillars of Christmas. We do not want to spread hate. It is the time when everyone greats each other with a happy smile. Even strangers in the street meet with a jolly ‘merry Christmas’. The Christmas songs are bursting through all the doors as people get together to enjoy a joyous event. We need to tell our children the importance of these small things. Being joyous is easy and it can help us lead incredible lives. Yes, it is not practiced throughout the year, but what if it was! It would be Christmas all year round!
However, different countries do have some unique traditions. Let us have a look at how different people in the world embrace the Christmas spirit. You may be surprised by their traditions and cultures! After all, Christmas is for everyone!
Christmas in France
For the people of France, Christmas starts on December 6 from St. Nicholas day. The children are often given sweets and little gifts in churches. As for the décor, the streets are lit with beautiful Christmas décor and stunning trees all decorated at their best. Especially the Alsace region is known for its Christmas trees and s known to support the tradition as long ago as the 14th century.
Instead of the socks tradition that is so popular in Europe the children in France put their shoes in front of their fireplace. They pray that Father Christmas will fill them with sweets and toys on Christmas Eve. As the day comes by, the family gathers to spend the day together, enjoying the tasty Christmas feast as many people exchange presents. It is all merrymaking and family reunions on Christmas day. After all, that is really, what Christmas is all about!
Christmas in Italy
In Italy, the usual Christmas festivity and décor is complemented by a nativity scene. The scene depicts a child in a straw bed. In addition, instead of the usual presents on Christmas day, they tend to exchange them on the January 6th, which is the day of epiphany. In addition, another interesting thing about Italy is the way they greet. We usually say ‘Merry Christmas”. They, on the other hand, say ‘Buon Natale’, which really means the same thing. Still, it is an interesting thing to know about a country.
Christmas in Germany
Germany is full of merrymakers and shoppers hurrying to buy last minute Christmas presents and décor. The vendors set their shoes on the streets in little squares. All the houses have a beautiful lighting display that looks extremely beautiful at night. The Christmas trees, however, do not make an appearance until the morning of 24th December! The city is truly a sight to see as the lights and the festivities light up in unison. The city truly glows with the Christmas spirit and is an extremely fun place to be with your kids to celebrate the holiday.
Christmas in England
Back in England, the Christmas spirit is alive and going as soon as the calendar shows December. People pull out their festive lights and sparkling décor to decorate their houses. It really is a competition of who decorates the finest. People make special efforts, using reindeers, Santa clause, Christmas trees and an elaborate display of lights to make their house look finest. Truly, the houses are a sight to see at night. Christmas is typically celebrated on 25 December but that does not stop people from enjoying the day leading up to the event. Children wait expectantly for their pile of gifts under the Christmas trees and people unite for the grand feast on Christmas Eve. It really is a family moment as generations of a family sits together on a table to enjoy a hearty meal on a sacred holiday!
Christmas in Norway and Iceland
In Norway, Christmas is called ‘Jul’ and Santa clause is known as ‘Julenisse’. You will find children waiting expectantly for Julenisse for their present. They wait for the event, counting the days down in expectation of what they are going to get. In Iceland, the kids have special shoes that they put up at the fireplace for Santa to fill with goodies. The Icelanders start their celebrations from the 24th. Their Christmas usually extends over 2 days, which is great!
Christmas in the Philippines
The Philippines have this unique tradition of making Christmas lanterns. They are called ‘parol’ and they have a star shape. They are based on the star of Bethlehem and are made of bamboo and paper. One they are set out in the night sky, they look incredibly beautiful. This is the special Philippines tradition, which complements the country and adds a personal flavor to their Christmas.
Overall, there are a number of different ways that people enjoy Christmas throughout the world. However, whatever their way, they are all the same at heart. We just want to spread joy and love. This is what Christmas is all about. Spend time with your family, catch up with your cousins, enjoy with your children and have an incredible time! Merry Christmas!