Snow, cold weather, colorful lights, beautiful shopping windows, families getting together, wonderful meals… one of the prettiest times of the year has arrived.
After the celebration of Thanksgiving, the Holiday season starts and it’s a great opportunity not only to continue to be grateful but also to share with our loved ones. Christmas and New Year are the perfect occasion to get together with our family and with our special friends to have a nice time, forget for a while about the problems, laugh until crying, dance, eat and, of course, enjoy the traditions of the season. It is also the opportunity to take a moment for ourselves and think about the outcomes of our actions during the year and make some resolutions: Were we good this year? Should we do it better for the next one? Keep in mind that a new year is a new white page to write a brand-new story.
Read also: The Meaning of Thanksgiving Day.
The truth is that there are different traditions worldwide to celebrate these holidays and in a big country like the United States the mixture of cultures brings also a huge diversity of traditions and celebration customs for each of these special dates.
“The Holidays are the opportunity to take a moment for ourselves and think about the outcomes of our actions during the year and make some resolutions: Were we good this year? Should we do it better for the next one? Keep in mind that a new year is a new white page to write a brand-new story.”
Some of the activities that involve the celebration of Christmas in the United States are:
Days before Christmas Eve, families decorate their houses and gardens with lots of lights and ornaments. Some people offer a full light and music show, some other include life-size illuminated Santa Clauses, elves and reindeers. The Christmas tree cannot be forgotten, and it is usually decorated by the whole family the same day of Christmas Eve.
Not only people decorate their own places, cities and town get also all dressed up for the season, one of the most famous is New York city. The streets of Manhattan get adorned, buildings become screens for lighting spectacles; in the Rockefeller Center, you can find a lot of light decoration, a huge Christmas tree and, of course, the public ice rink.
It could be said that one of the favorite activities of the season is walking or driving around during the evening to see the lights and decorations.
• The Christmas Card.
Among several families in the United Stated, it is a tradition to send Christmas cards every year. Mom, dad, the children, everybody must get pretty for the picture! This card is sent to the other members of the family and close friends. Old cards don’t get lost, they are usually part of Christmas decorations.
Giving gifts has become one of the traditions of this season; therefore, shopping is a must. After black Friday, stores get ready for Christmas and New Year’s Eve promotion and people spend some time shopping not only the Christmas tree and some adornments but also presents for their love ones.
• The Christmas Eve dinner.
Depending on the state, different meal options for this celebration can be found. In most of the cases, the Christmas Eve diner includes ham or turkey, potatoes, pie and cakes. People travel on this day to get together with their families in order to enjoy this meal and share a valuable moment.
• Going to Mass.
The actual meaning of Christmas is celebrating the birth of Jesus Crist; therefore, Catholic churches are an important part of this celebration. On Christmas Eve, there’s a special mass service (in Roman churches it’s at midnight, in order to receive the Christmas day).
During this period, churches also organizes different events such as charities and performances of the nativity.
A Holiday For The Little Ones
It’s not a secret for anyone that the ones who enjoy the most this period of the year are children. First of all, there is not school so they have a lot of time to play and to be part of all the Holidays activities. Second, they receive gifts not only from their grandparents, aunts and uncles but also from Santa Claus. Who doesn’t remember the excitement of opening those presents?
After the dinner, children hang their stocking in the fireplace and go to bed. They also put some cookies and milk for Santa. When they wake up in the Christmas Day, they enjoy opening the desired presents.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve symbolizes the end of a period and the beginning of new opportunities. Some people feel a little nostalgic, some others feel excited, and for most of the people is a day to party. Christmas can be considered a more familiar holiday; New Year’s Eve is usually spent among friends.
In the United States, there are some cities that are well-known for their New Year’s Eve massive street celebrations.
• New York, New York!
We have seen it in pictures, movies and on television… we have dreamed about this celebration.
Millions of people for all over the world get together in Time Square to see the ball drop, the fireworks and receive the new year. The good news is that, in the city that never sleeps, enjoying this show isn’t your only option, there are also concerts and endless parties.
• Beachy New Year in Honolulu.
Are you tired of cold weather and winter clothes? Grab your bathing suit and get ready to receive this new year near the sea.
People gets together in Waikiki beach to enjoy the fireworks show that starts near 11:55 pm. Afterwards, bars and clubs around Waikiki continue the celebration. Another option could be going to The New Year’s Eve Party of the Year that will take place in Aloha Tower Marketplace.
• Party Like a Champ in Las Vegas.
If parties in Las Vegas are usually crazy and wild, imagine how can New Year’s Eve be. The entire strip gets close to traffic and it becomes an entire block for people to celebrate and drink. At midnight, casinos perform an unforgettable firework spectacle. Inside, the entertainment continues with shows and more parties.
• Live a Fairytale in Walt Disney World or Disneyland.
It does not matter how old are you or if you go to California or to Florida, Disney is the place where dreams come true. In every park, there are several events to celebrate the Holidays.
During the day, you can enjoy the attractions, and afterwards, during the night, you can enjoy the countdown, the fireworks, the live music, the food and more.
• Fruit Celebration in Atlanta.
Maybe not as famous as New York City ball drop but equally fun. At Underground Atlanta, you can enjoy the Peach Drop: an 800-pound peach falling from an illuminated tower.
There will also be, of course, fireworks, music, food, street performance and entertainment for all the family.
As you can see, there is a wide diversity of options to celebrate the Holidays all over the United States.