December 22, 2016 by Jeff Blaine Lowen
Although, some of the Christmas traditions that we’re used to in America might seem a little odd to people in other parts of the world. For example, we sing songs about a reindeer with a lightbulb for a nose, and we force small children to sit on the laps of a stranger in a mall while we take a picture of them; as they share deep secrets about our families!
Incidentally, do you know why we put angels on top of Christmas trees?
In other countries, their traditions may seem odd to us, but here’s a peek into how we’ve evolved the season into our own brand of celebration…
- The city of Chandler, Arizona builds a gigantic tree out of tumbleweeds.
- If you haven’t seen the boat parade in San Francisco, it’s quite a sight. Just as the many of the boat parades throughout the state are.
- In Crested Butte, Colorado, as if one stranger dressed up in a Santa suit isn’t enough to confuse your children, how about hundreds gather at a Santa Ski event?
- If you like to celebrate Christmas all year long, move to Christmas, Florida. Yep, the town of Christmas in the Sunshine State does just that!
- If roasted pig and silk flower leis are ou flavor, Hawaii is the place for you. No white Christmas here.
- Indiana holds Christmas at the Zoo, for all of us that like the animals that love cold weather.
- If you’re a music buff, then Kansas City, Kansas has TubaChristmas. If you have a Tuba, then you’re in. Let’s hope you’re not tone deaf!
- Kentucky celebrates with Legos.
- Lousiana folks along the Mississippi River have bonfires that light up the shoreline.
- They count birds in Maryland.
- Ice climbing competition in Montana.
- Scuba diving Santa in New Jersey.
- It’s a Winter Ale Christmas Beerfest in Portland, Oregon.
- As in Charleston, South Carolina’s Pub Crawl for Christmas.
- Mount Vernon, Virginia is especially festive over the holidays.
So you see, when the Catalan region of Spain children take a log, often painted with a smiling face, into their home and they feed it every night, they might look upon Americans as odd, as they bundle the log at night to keep at warm and they treat it with love and kindness.
Then, on Christmas day, the children beat the log with sticks while ordering it to poop out gifts for them.
Or in Japan where they pre-order Christmas dinner in buckets from KFC.
How about roller skating to Christmas Mass on roller skates in Venezuela?
In Belgium and France, Santa travels with a dark-suited, black-bearded helper that dispenses punishment to bad little boys and girls.
And, decorate your Christmas tree with spider webs in Ukraine!
As with all traditions, they evolve over time and seem to morph to the lifestyle of the people of the region. Just like here in America. To get into the real Christmas spirit, however, you would be just in opening your heart and mind to all perspectives in this most festive of seasons.
THAT… is the real meaning of Christmas. Love, celebrate and share – without judgment.