or Xmas) Part II True
stories on Christmas in the US! (022103)
Since we thought that Christmas is so common all over the world, in
December we decided to just post pix
relating to the Christmas holidays.
noticed that some Japanese misunderstood what is going on in the US for
Christmas. We realize that Christmas was over about two months ago,
but good stories are never too late. Here is a description of Christmas in the US.
X-mas Day is
the most exciting holiday for Americans. The Holidays are a family event.
People may return home from far away to celebrate the Holidays with their
family. On the days leading up to X-mas
Eve, there are often parties at work or at church.
The days between Thanksgiving
and Christmas are busy. People busily decorate both
outside and inside their houses for X-mas. Outside decorations include
holiday lights, wreaths, swags, and garlands.
Inside decorations include X-mas trees, centerpieces, mistletoe, kissing
balls, and X-mas crafts. Decorations
are often displayed until
middle to late January. People also
make Christmas candy and cookies. By
X-mas Day, gift boxes are placed under the X-mas tree.
Stockings are hung by the fireplace, so they can be filled with
“stocking stuffers” by Santa on X-mas Eve. Kids may sit on Santa's lap
at the shopping mall or write a letter *) to tell him what presents they would like
him to deliver on X-mas Eve.
On X-mas Day,
the kids check their stockings for small gifts. Later everyone unwraps
the boxes in front of the family. Kids
especially love to open the gifts. Usually X-mas
is good for kids and a time for parents to spend money.
Church is well decorated for
this occasion. Christmas is when Christian Churches celebrate the birth of
Jesus. This is a longer mass than usual. It is also the most attended
mass (Easter is the 2nd most attended). It is wise to get to church early,
otherwise all the seats may be taken and you may have to stand.
Some worshippers go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. This way they do not
have to get up early on Christmas day.
Decorations: Stores and shopping malls decorate the exterior of the shops with
wreaths. Even medical clinics and cemeteries may be decorated by
wreaths, swags, and X-mas trees. Note: wreaths, swags, and garlands may be
similar to kadomatsu (the New Year's pine decoration) in Japan.
X-mas dress codes: at home casual, at church casual to professional.
Note: Most young girls 20 years old or more in Japan wear "Hare-gi"
(colorful and gorgeous kimono) which is very expensive.
It costs from $1,000 to $ 10,000, and the parents pay for it.
In the US they don't have such pricey dresses because they can't afford
them. Instead, they have gowns.
X-mas dinners: The Japanese think everyone eats a goose here. In reality,
people often eat ham or turkey.
X-mas dessert: X-mas candy, cookies, pies, and fruitcake. Fruitcake
is heavy and sweet bread containing candied fruits and nuts.
Poinsettias, holly boughs with berries.
*) In fact, kids really write to him: Santa Claus, The North Pole. Inside
Note 1: X-mas here corresponds to New Year's Day in Japan,
in our opinion. New Year's Eve and
New Year's Day may be similar to X-mas in Japan. Some Japanese adults go
to X-mas parties; sometimes they use confetti bombs, which are for New Year's Eve
in the US. Almost all Japanese families have X-mas cakes looking like
a birthday cake with candles; cake stores, especially department stores,
sell a lot of X-mas cakes. I don't know where the idea of X-mas cakes came
from. Cakes are not common on X-mas Day, except for fruitcake, which is
more like bread than cake.
Note 2: Christmas = X-mas = Xmas
Note 3: We plan on posting photos of
X-mas decorations soon.
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