Christmas Around the World

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Have you ever wondered what Christmas celebrations Santa sees on his trip around the world? We looked up a sampling, and found that customs vary less than we thought.

The French observe the holiday with food, drink and merriment. So do the Russians, but their festivities center more on New Year’s than Christmas.

Australians feast under a summer sun. Their December is like July in North America. Chinese Christians beautify the holiday with decorations. For non-Christians it’s the Chinese New Year, though without fireworks for Beijingers.

London sings in the Christmas season with carols in Trafalgar Square. In Germany the past is the present with recreations of medieval events in chilly ancient castles. In New York City, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular puts everyone in the holiday mood.

Perhaps the best scenes of all take place in small communities. In towns around the globe, people perform folk plays about the Nativity. Christmas lights garland houses. Front yards feature sleighs, reindeer and a fat jolly fellow, usually dressed in red. (Children the world over know him by more names than there are gifts in the sack he carries.)

Here in Carpenter Country the mood of the season is everywhere. From the colorful packages sitting under the brightly-lit Christmas tree to the scent of baking cookies and the sounds of the choir through an open church door, the magic surrounds us.

Wonderful, isn’t it?

Maybe one day soon peace will come to every village in every nation in the world. Then we can truly sing “Happy Holidays”–and a chorus will answer, “Happy Holidays to you.”

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