USA is a great place to visit during Christmas time! In the US, Christmas holiday season traditionally starts in November just after the Thanksgiving. This signals the beginning of Christmas shopping! Christmas is a part of the holiday season in the USA that includes several major holidays celebrated at the end of December! These festivities are Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Year’s Eve.
In the USA there is so much to do at Christmas time from shopping, seeing the magnificent decorations, enchanting lightings and savouring delicious foods. The Americans celebrate Christmas in a delightful way. People decorate their homes and gardens with stars, bells, twinkling lights, toys, Christmas trees and more! Most people put up a Christmas tree in the beginning of December. Wrapped presents are kept underneath it. On Christmas day, these presents are finally unwrapped! Children especially enjoy opening these presents to find what’s there for them.
Christmas is the time when the Americans would meet their family and friends and exchange gifts. Children enjoy Christmas the most because they receive loads of presents from their parents, relatives and the mystical Santa Claus! There is this fantastic story about Santa Claus, a white-bearded, jolly old man in red clothing who rides a sledge carried by reindeers. Santa comes to the doorsteps at midnight when the children are asleep and he keeps nice presents for them. The American kids hang socks near the fireplace so that Santa could drop the presents in that. The children also keep cookies and a glass of milk on Christmas Eve so that Santa could have some refreshments!
Christmas is the best holiday season for the Americans as it is the time for fun, celebration, foods, presents and spending time with loved ones. Many people go for a family vacation and some others visit their friends and relatives this time every year. The Americans love to send Christmas cards to their near and dear ones.
The Churches are decorated with lights. The Christians would attend the Church at Christmas Eve to hear the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. There are special Christmas Carol services at the Church.
In the USA there are some famous Christmas markets to do all the Christmas shopping. From decorations, presents, souvenirs, dresses, chocolates, candles, foods everything is sold in these markets. Christmas markets are tourist attractions for the beautiful decorations, lustrous lights, ongoing live music, parades and mouth-watering foods!
The towns and cities are decorated on the occasion of Christmas. The street lights are major attractions in the cities of the USA.
Each part of the country has some special customs. In the Southwest USA they put ‘luminarias’ which are paper sacks with half-filled sand and a candle inside. The luminarias are put on sides of roads to light the way for Mary and Joseph! Bonfires are popular particularly along the Mississippi river.
The top 10 places to celebrate Christmas in the USA are:
1. Honolulu, Oahu – The Hawaiian Island is decorated beautifully at Christmas time. The open-air concerts in Honolulu, the magical light displays and the special trolley rides to provide visitors an entire view of the festivities celebrations are the major attractions!
2. Aspen, Colorado – Aspen is a pleasant, cosy hilly area where Christmas looks like a beautiful framed photograph!
3. Boston, Massachusetts – It gets absolutely stunning at Christmas. The festival at Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a must watch with it’s 75 foot tall Christmas tree, lighting, bells, choirs, dances and celebrity appearances. The marvellous decorations, music and shows are mind-blowing!
4. Leavenworth, Washington – The official Christmas lighting festival is the major temptation here. Live music, dance shows, fascinating sights and sounds will amuse anyone!
5. San Antonio River Walk, Texas – The San Antonio River walk is adorned with thousands of lights. The park holds a 40 inch Christmas tree. A splendid dinner by the river and the after-dinner walk will soothe your eyes with breath-taking views of waterfalls, bridges and boats.
6. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Florida – Christmas becomes fairy-tale like at Disney World! The beautiful Christmas parade and special Christmas fireworks at Walt Disney World are worth watching! The entire Disney World decks up vibrantly and the lightings and shows are all set in the festive mood.
7. Los Angeles, California – The charming Los Angeles becomes magical at Christmas time. The light festival in Griffith Park, streets and National landmarks glistening with lights and the extra-festive Disneyland Park are the major enticements. Disney’s special parade and fireworks are a major draw in Christmas.
8. New York City, New York – Spectacular light shows and outstanding decorations are all over the city. The street lights at the Rockefeller Center in New York is world famous. It has an enormous Christmas tree and an ice-skating rink. Also, the striking Christmas displays at Mac and Saks, Fifth Avenue become enchanting at this time.
9. Las Vegas, Nevada – Las Vegas is one of the best cities that celebrates Christmas in style! From dancing fountains of Bellagio to the radiant lights of casinos, this city is indeed the place to be in Christmas time!
10. Chicago, Illinois – Chicago is an amazing place to celebrate Christmas with it’s Lights festival and Mickey Mouse parade that shines over 1 million lights along the Michigan Avenue!
If the flickering city lights and noise bothers you, the splendid small towns in the USA would enchant you at Christmas. The quiet, snowy little towns can ease up the mind and raise the Christmas spirit! Some of these towns are – Fairhope, Alabama; Unalaska, Alaska; Winslow, Arizona; Eureka Springs, Arkansas; Carmel, California; Mancos, Colorado; Essex, Connecticut; New Castle, Delaware; Crystal River, Florida; Cartersville, Georgia; Wallace, Idaho; Alton, Illinois; Decorah, Iowa; Lindsborg, Kansas; Paducah, Kentucky; Cumberland, Maryland and Nantucket, Massachusetts. These are some unusual but great choices for a peaceful Christmas.
Although Christmas has a religious origin and it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, but it has now become a cultural celebration in USA. Christmas has become their national sentiment.