10. Christmas in the United States and Canada
Many of the celebrations in the United States that are associated
with Christmas were traditions brought by German and English
immigrants. Along with the well-known and practiced tradition of a
brightly decorated Christmas tree, other traditions brought by these
immigrants include Advent calendars, Christmas greeting cards,
gingerbread houses and gingerbread cookies.
Christmas in the United States today can be seen as focused
around family, travel, shopping and decorations.
Family and travel go together during Christmas in the United
States because family members often have to travel fairly long
distances to be with each other at one location. The growth of cities
that have primarily economic activity, suburbs for residences, as well
as the fact of different industries being found in certain geographic
locations, are among the reasons that family members often live great
distances from each other in separate states.
Christmas and its festivities therefore present a wonderful
opportunity for many members of the family to gather in celebration and
see each other in an intimate setting. The traveling involved makes the
Christmas season a busy time of the year for rail and air travel.
The occasion of seeing many family members at Christmas is also
linked to the activity of shopping that is an important feature of
Christmas in the United States. The Christmas season officially begins
on the Friday after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday and which now
ranks second in shopping for a single day to the Saturday before
Much of the shopping that is done is to purchase gifts for
friends and family. Gifts for family members are usually exchanged
after dinner on Christmas day, when everyone gathers in the room with
the Christmas tree. Gifts are usually left at the base of the Christmas
tree in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
Gifts may also exchanged before Christmas at parties held by
friends and parties held at workplaces.
Second to gifts, shopping is also done at Christmas for
decorations. While the Christmas tree may be the centerpiece of
attraction, garlands, wreaths, candles and decorative lighting placed
outside on lawns or along rooflines are also used to create a beautiful
holiday appearance for homes.
Canadians enjoy Christmas activities that are similar to those
celebrated in the United States. That is so because in the 1700s when
some German immigrants in the United States migrated to Canada, they
continued to practice many of the activities associated with Christmas.
The geographical proximity of the two countries also means they share
many things, so similarities in Christmas traditions wouldn't be an
One thing that accounts for the difference between the two
countries however, is the Eskimo population in Canada. Eskimos in
Canada celebrate a festival during winter and have other traditions
that are absent from American Christmas celebrations.
A practice also exists in Nova Scotia in which small groups of
masked individuals march around about two weeks before Christmas. These
masked groups attract attention by creating stir with much bell ringing
and engaging in a noisy caper in an aim to get candy, sweets and
goodies from onlookers.
This tradition bears some similarity to Jonkonoo celebrations in
the neighboring islands of the Caribbean. Those celebrations also
involve masked individuals, including some that appear on stilts that
make them as tall as trees. The parade of Jonkonoo regale onlookers
with various antics and present a minor scare to some children, who are
then calmed with candies and other treats.
In Nova Scotia, onlookers can try to calm the noise and rowdiness
just a little if they can correctly guess the identity of the masked
person. A correct guess puts an end to the noise as the mask is
removed, exposing the individual. For their part, maskers also play
nice by friendly nudging answers from children about whether they have
been naughty or nice and handing out candies and treats accordingly.
40. Different Types of Christmas Trees
The tradition of Christmas trees in America came from German
immigrants who had settled in Pennsylvania. It is believed that the
tradition of Christmas trees started in Germany from as early as 700
A.D and was practiced by many Germans in the 1800s. It's also since
that period that Christmas trees have also been available for sale in
the United States. While artificial Christmas trees are popular, many
people like to have a fresh Christmas tree in their homes, or outside
on their lawns. And similar to all other trees, Christmas trees also
have different shapes and qualities that make some types more popular
Along with other decorative Christmas items such as wreaths and
garlands, having a Christmas tree in your home is very essential in
creating a special atmosphere for the season. It is believed that
Christmas trees have been available for sale in America since the
1800s, which is about the same time that the former Woolworth's
department store started selling ready-made ornaments for Christmas
Choosing the right type of Christmas tree is important because
Christmas trees are often a focal point for many family activities and
traditions. Given the many types of Christmas trees that are available,
it is important to think about how the tree will be used. While a tall
tree may look very elegant, it may not be suitable if there aren't many
adults around who can reach the tree's heights. And a very short tree
may be dwarfed by other furniture in the room. It's therefore very
important to carefully consider and get a tree that has a suitable
height and also one that has sturdy branches to hold heavy ornaments.
Artificial and real Christmas trees can often be bought from the
same retail stores these days as local businesses and retail chain
stores often sell both types of trees. The best place to get a real and
fresh Christmas tree, and also to see a wide variety, is likely a
Christmas tree farm however. Using modern technology, both types of
trees can also be obtained through online transactions, via telephone
as well as by mail-order through catalogs.
Among Christmas trees there are certain types that are
always favorites and which are bestsellers. These include: Douglas,
Fraser, Noble and Balsam firs, and Scotch, Virginia and white pine
These evergreen trees all have all have one or more excellent
features related to shape, color or sheen and fragrance, which makes
them favorites for Christmas trees.
The most favorite Christmas trees basically have a pyramid or
cone shape. A pyramid-shaped tree is likely taller and has somewhat of
an elegant look. Douglas Fir, which ranks first among Christmas tree
favorites, is an example of a pyramid-shaped tree. Other examples are
Fraser, Balsam and Noble firs.
A cone shape tree tends to be short with dense branches, which makes
them excellent for holding many ornaments and other decorations.
Families that have a strong tradition of making their own ornaments, or
putting mememtos on Christmas trees may consider a cone-shaped tree.
Virginia and Scotch Pines, Norway Spruce and the Eastern White Pine all
have cone shapes.
Another feature that makes Christmas trees appealing is their
color. While all trees have a green appearance, a closer look at their
needles will reveal differences such as a bright or dark-green, bluegreen or yellowish-green hue. The needles may also emit a silvery sheen
with the right lighting. Fraser and Noble firs both have needles with a
silvery sheen, and the branches of both trees are also used for
garlands and wreaths.
Most people choose a fresh Christmas tree for its fragrance,
which can be fairly strong or just subtle, giving off just enough of a
whiff of scent. Douglas Fir, which is the most popular Christmas tree
in homes and public places, is a very fragrant tree. The Balsam fir is
also fairly fragrant. The Eastern White Pine is however, a tree that
doesn't have much fragrance.
Whether you have a favorite type of Christmas tree or will choose
one from its appearance, there are many choices to satisfy the desire
to have a fragrant and well-decorated tree for Christmas.
5. Have a Chic Christmas - All About Style and Fashion for the Holidays
In New York, a style capital of the world, black is always a chic and
fashionable selection. That's even more so in the Fall and Winter seasons when
dark colors are favored. But even the fashionistas who like somber colors add a
bit of sparkle and cheer to Christmas and holiday clothing with some color,
usually magnificent red.
Dominant colors at Christmas are red, black and white and a red scarf, or
a white one, is a must-have accessory.
Holiday-themed apparel with snowflakes, candy canes, stars, Christmas
trees, are also popular during the season. Along with being colorful, they also
convey the message that the person is fully embracing the spirit of the season
and is in a festive mood. When individuals wear holiday-themed apparel, they are
therefore radiating a positive attitude and giving the signal that it is
pleasant to be around them. After all, nobody wants to be around the 'grumpy
bah-humbug' type of personalities during the Christmas season.
Holiday-themed jewelry also works well as accessories. These can add that
little sparkle to an outfit that makes it stand out in an admirable way.
Holiday-themed jewelry is also perfect for those individuals who simply want to
show a touch of the holiday spirit without having to actually wear holidaythemed apparel because it maybe too different from the conservative style of
It is necessary to add some sparkle to apparel during the Christmas season
and current style trends of having jewel-engraved or embroidered tops play well
for the Christmas season. They will allow the wearer to look festive in a very
understated but elegant way.
Fall popular styles will also undoubtedly be a fashionable way to dress
for the holidays. Based on the Fall Fashion Shows in New York, there are five
basic outfits that stylists say should be in the wardrobe of all women. They
are: the Tunic, Winter Short - which is cut just above the knee - the Vest,
Pencil Skirt and the Super-wide pant.
The vest can be a dressy one with embroidery or other adornments, or it
can be more minimal based on the overall outfit. The Winter Short and Pencil
Skirt can easily convert from working outfit to party wear with the right
accessory, making them perfect to wear to an early evening Christmas or holiday
party. A variation from the Pencil Skirt is the Pencil dress. This too is likely
to be popular for Christmas as it can be easily accessorized with a broad belt,
which is one of the accessories that top fashion advisers say is a 'must-have'
accessory for the Fall.
The Tunic and Super-wide pant are also liked for Christmas and the Holiday
season because they are very flexible in how they can be paired with other
Another fall fashion staple are Knit Sweaters - oversized and as tunics. They
will also work well with black tights and leggings, which has made a comeback in
leg wear. Leggings can be worn under skirts or dresses. Very slim leggings can
also be worn simply in place of pants, worn with a jacket or again, with an
oversized knit sweater. Using the basic colors of red, white and black that are
popular during Christmas and the holidays, colored leggings will definitely add
a nice touch of style to outfits and make them seem perfect for the Christmas
and holiday season.
It is also good that dresses are once more welcomed among the fashionable.
And the red dress for Fall fits well into Christmas and the holiday season.
The latest in jeans, which is a mainstay in everyone's wardrobe and suitable to
wear at all times including during Christmas and the holidays, is that a skinny
fit is in. And if ultra-skinny is not very complimentary to your body shape, you
can still get one of the newer types of jeans that are said to have a lot more
stretch, giving a 360-degree or all-around wrap to the body for a perfect or
near perfect fit.
And since Christmas is the season to be happy and cheery, the truly jolly
can always top off their Christmas outfit with a cone-shaped, red and white
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Take your time and find out the costs at many internet retailers to see how products compare their products. Pick one
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Try to avoid expedited shipping options. You might be surprised how quick your items will arrive with standard
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Should you spend considerable time shopping on the web, you should think about registering for services which
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It can save you lots of money while you shop online. You should know where those deals are available. This article
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