Christmas in the US

We are concluding our week of US-themed blog posts with a little glance at Christmas in the US. It might seem too early for lots of you to be thinking about Christmas, but there are some interesting traditions we’d love to tell you about. If you have friends and family in the US, think about sending Christmas gifts to the US now for the best rates.

In Alaska, children carry a star on a pole from door to door to represent the star that guided the three wise men to Jesus over Bethlehem. They sing carols, and they are often invited inside to show gratitude.

In Hawaii, a US island state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, the beginning of the Christmas season is signified by the arrival of the Christmas Tree Ship, which arrives laden with Christmas products to allow the Hawaiian residents to begin their decorating.

In Arizona, they follow a Mexican tradition called Las Posadas, whereby there is a procession and play representing Mary and Joseph looking for a room at an inn. Families re-enact the event by visiting each other’s houses posturing as Mary and Joseph, and many households decorate a crib for the baby Jesus.

‘Mumming’ is a practice most commonly associated with Philadelphia, where a Mummer’s Day parade takes place over six hours. Groups will get together in amazing costumes which take many months to create, and there is music and an air of festivity all day.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas in the US without the giant Christmas dinner, which is often very similar to the Thanksgiving dinner enjoyed on the fourth Thursday in November. Adults may enjoy mulled wine or eggnog, and there is a strong focus on creamy puddings.