Christmas in USA

December 20, 2009

Tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City

The first Christmas observance in what is now the United States was celebrated in an authentic Spanish style. Hernando de Soto and his army set up their winter camp in the present day city of Tallahassee, Florida in 1539. Since that time, the holiday traditions of nearly every nation on earth have moved into, around, and across the U.S. Every ethnic group has its place in our society, and they bring their own traditions for December celebrations. In addition, the diversity in our climate helps to set the stage for various types of festivities ranging from a picnic on the (beach at Waikiki) or Key West to candles in a window during the twilight of a cold day in Alaska.

For most people, turkey is the main dish and presents are found under a Christmas tree. Families gather together and the gifts come from Santa Claus. These are the basics and the varied pleasures take off from there in all directions.

In New York City, holiday shoppers stop to watch skaters on the ice beneath the tree at Rockefeller Center while others gaze in awe at the magnificent Neapolitan Baroque figures on the Angel Tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In Texas, you can join a Tex-Mex "posada" in San Antonio or travel 70 miles north to Fredericksburg for a German-style Christmas Market.


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