It used to be that we’d all start decorating, shopping, baking, and wrapping presents for Christmas when the calendar turned to December. But over the past 20 years or so, the kick-off to the holiday season has gotten earlier and earlier. It’s not such a bad thing, though. It just means we can enjoy our Christmas traditions longer.
First, it was Thanksgiving that was encroached upon. Now you see stores putting out the artificial Christmas trees, lights, and baubles before Halloween. The aisles become a bizarre mash-up of the macabre and the merry. Heck, because of the chillier-than-usual fall weather we’ve had this year, I still have a healthy-looking pumpkin on my front stoop next to an illuminated snowman. Go figure!
Here in the U.S., we definitely begin celebrating Christmas earlier than most other countries. No matter when we start, we have very specific holiday activities and we do them all in a big way. While door-to-door caroling may not be so much of a thing anymore, we have plenty of other things to keep us busy and feeling festive from October through the end of the year.
What are your family’s favorite Christmas traditions? I assume you love listening to Christmas music or you wouldn’t be here. That’s a given so it doesn’t even need to go on the list. Just as Santa has eight tiny reindeer pulling his sleigh, here are eight Christmas traditions that pull Americans through the holiday season every year.