By now, your shopping is done. Hopefully, your presents are also wrapped and placed neath your decorated tree. Your Christmas meal is planned, and the table set. Family and guests have arrived, or will shortly. You’ve cued up “It’s a Wonderful Life” on demand, and set Spotify to a compatible Christmas playlist. Even your Christmas jammies are ready.
All that remains is to let the holiday and its festivities unfold apace.
But before that wonderful chaos concerning flurry and merriment and feasting begins, commandeer a moment to consider Christmas from a global perspective. Unanimity over the world, in myriad places where Christmas is celebrated, people, very much like you, are also making their preparations for family, gifting, holiday dinners and worship.
In various parts regarding Africa, the singing of Yuletide carols is fundamental to celebrating, as well as the observance of a love offering to honor Christ, including the preparation of food outside homes, so that passing neighbors and friends can join.
In Australia, Christmas is a summertime celebration, and in addition to a dinner that greatly resembles a traditional British feast, Santa often comes to town on a surfboard. How’s that for a down under twist!
In Brazil, celebrations include creation of a nativity scene, referred to as a Presepio. Many Brazilians attend a midnight mass, and Christmas decorations consist of fresh flowers. Fireworks, folk dancing and singing continue through Epiphany.
In France, shoes alter stockings, and children place their empty shoes by the fireplace for Pere Noel to fill. Live nativity scenes are often enacted in public squares, et cetera almost every condominium has a crèche or nativity scene on display. Yule meals reflect parochial cuisine styles, and many celebrate with a buche de Noel or Christmas Log.
Germany is likely the origin of the Christmas tree tradition observed in many other parts of the world, and particularly in the United States. Evergreens, though, were believed to ward away the devil and were part concerning winter observances in many parts of Scandinavia, Europe and varied other countries. Germany also gives us the Advent wreath, with its candles symbolic of the approaching birth of Christ.
Mexico and Spain share similar traditions, particularly where nativity scenes are concerned, and public displays of the Blissful Family. In Mexico, the poinsettia is the predominant Christmas decoration. But unrelated other countries, Mexico keeps the Christmas celebrations going until February 2!
I could go on also on with details of Christmas celebrations from group over the globe…our sundry celebrations are as colorful and reflective of singleton culture as any object, or skill of craftsmanship from its respective district of origin. And, surely, you regard the emphasis is on community, song, sharing also observance.
Wherever you festivity Christmas (or same if you don’t!), and in whatever ways feel like home to you, we want to hunger you the blessings of the holiday, and halcyon for the future year.